This August 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the devastating death of Princess Diana, known as the beloved People’s Princess. The princess was killed in a car accident in Paris in 1997, leaving behind her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, who were 15 and 12 years old at the time. With such a public death and heartbreak that spread across the world, the two princes have decided to rededicate Princess Diana’s grave on July 1, which would have been their mother’s 56th birthday.
This will be a private event for the immediate family, royal and otherwise, which includes Prince Harry, Prince William, Kate Middleton, their children George and Charlotte, and Diana’s brother and two sisters. They will honor the Princess of Wales with a special ceremony to rededicate the grave, which will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Diana’s ex-husband and William and Harry’s father, Prince Charles, will not be in attendance.
In recent interviews, Diana’s sons have opened up about the entire ordeal that was their mother’s death. While she was an extremely public figure, she was also a mother, and dealing with that kind of pain privately proved difficult for the young boys.
“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin,” Harry spoke of his mother’s funeral with Newsweek, “surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television. I don’t think any child should be asked to do that under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
Since her death, Harry has done charity work with children, army veterans and those suffering from HIV/AIDS, which is directly inspired by his mother, who was an outspoken activist for the HIV/AIDS community.
“I am in a better place about [my mother’s death] than I have been for a long time,” William told GQ in an interview, “where I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better… It is not like most people’s grief, because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her.”
Since both Diana’s children have touched on the difficulty of being in the public eye for their whole life, it’s only fitting that they honor their mother privately, for once organizing a ceremony for themselves.