25 years ago the world shook after learning of the death of Diana of Wales, listed as the most photographed woman in the world and who broke stigmas, not only in British royalty but also throughout the world. This Wednesday, like every year, the British paid him various tributes. For her part, her children decided to honor her privately and separately.
In the early hours of August 31, 1997, Princess Diana and her partner, the Egyptian Dodi Al-Fayed, tried to flee from the siege of the paparazzi when they left the Ritz Hotel in Paris.
On the way, the driver of the vehicle, Henry Paul, lost control and fatally crashed into a tunnel along the Seine River, north of the Eiffel Tower.
The crash caused the instant death of Al-Fayed and Paul, meanwhile, Diana managed to reach the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital alive, where she was treated. However, despite all her efforts, she passed away around 4 in the morning.
Trevor Rees-Jones, bodyguard of the “people’s princess”, was the only survivor of the incident. His funeral has been the most watched in history, with approximately 2.5 million viewers.
This Wednesday, August 31, 25 years after the tragedy, dozens of admirers brought flowers, photographs and other tributes to the tunnel where the accident occurred and to Kensington Palace, the princess’s former residence in London.
The Spencer family mansion, where Diana was buried, flew the British flag at half-staff. Her brother Charles de Ella was in charge of paying tribute to the two and a half decades without the presence of one of the icons of the 20th century.
Her children remember her privately and separately
Five years ago, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the death of the Princess of Wales, Henry of Sussex and William of Cambridge held their last memorial in public and spoke about their mother’s legacy, no appearance is expected this year.
As reported by The Daily Telegraph, the brothers “have decided to draw a line in their public commemorations.” In July 2021, the children of the also known as “queen of hearts” inaugurated a statue in Kensington Palace to commemorate what would be her 60th birthday.
In recent years, the relationship between the heirs to the throne has been tense. In 2020, Harry, along with his wife Megan Markle, decided to leave the royal family to move to California, away from the monarchy.
Since then, the relationship between the two brothers has been marked by distance and has shown a new dynamic in the royal family. For his part, William, 40, left London this summer to move to Windsor, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II, along with his wife Kate and his three children.
William stated in a recent polo match in the United States that he wanted this August 31 to be a day “full of memories of his incredible work and a day to share the spirit of my mother with my family and my children, who I wish they had known”.
Diana, an icon in life
The princess, who had aristocratic origins, was attractive to public opinion from a very young age. She was the bride of Prince Charles at a very young age, her marriage has been the most watched in world history, she was involved in controversial humanitarian causes and was a fashion icon.
The paparazzi followed her until her death. Around 10 photographers were captured and 20 photographic rolls were seized when they tried to photograph the Princess at the time of the accident in Paris.
In addition, she was the permanent cover of the most important newspapers and magazines of her time and today, her name is the inspiration for different series, literary novels, biographies and documentaries, being considered a representative of “pop culture”.
John Loughrey, a member of the Kensington Palace Group association, said it was important to “keep his legacy alive” and “his memory” because he left “many legacies.”
For the British, Diana was in charge of breaking the distance that the royal family used to with its “subjects”.
A new revelation about Diana’s death
Recently, the French doctor Frederic Mailliez, the first doctor to arrive at Lady Di’s accident, recalled the moment and said that he provided first aid to the victims, without knowing who the members of the vehicle were.
Mailliez was off duty when he took the Pont d’Alma road tunnel, a few minutes after the tragedy. She remembers that she approached the remains of the smoking black Mercedes-Benz, she opened one of the doors and found a harrowing scene.
There were four people in the car, one of them was Princess Diana, who was on her knees on the floor and needed immediate help, according to Mailliez.
“He was unconscious and initially had difficulty breathing. With my breathing bag, (ie oxygen mask) I was breathing a little better. She got a little more energy back, but she couldn’t say anything,” she assured.
Shortly after completing his work, the French doctor realized that the person he was treating was one of the most beloved people in the United Kingdom: Diana of Wales.
“It was a huge shock to learn that she was Princess Diana and that she died. And right after that, I checked in with myself and said, ‘Did I do everything I could to save her? Did I do my job right?’ And yes, she couldn’t have done any better.”
Diana’s Legacy for Mental Health
Lady Di spoke about a taboo subject for her time, mental health. During an interview with Martin Bashir, a BBC journalist in 1995, the Princess said that she suffered from bulimia during her first years of marriage to Carlos, as well as that she tried to commit suicide and that she once threw herself down the stairs while pregnant. .
The media pressure to which Diana was subjected, the infidelities on the part of her ex-husband and the demands of her royal role caused the princess to suffer from a great depression and that she was sometimes caught crying, something unusual in a member of the monarchy .
His children, Harry and Prince William have also spoken openly on the subject and recently told about the problems they suffered in the past, motivated by the death of their mother. However, they have also worked for the well-being of mental health in different campaigns and foundations that they support.
Tessy Ojo, executive director of the Diana Award charity, said the princess’s most enduring legacy was her ability to “connect” with people.
“Her ability to connect with people through kindness and compassion is one of her most important legacies. She left a mark on all of our lives. (…) Diana, Princess of Wales, believed that young people have the power to change the world,” he added.
Diana undoubtedly marked a before and after in the world and despite her short 36 years of life, she left a legacy that will last forever.
With EFE, Reuters and local media