Princess Diana ’s two grandchildren were at her graveside to mark her 56th birthday. Prince George , three, and two-year-old Princess Charlotte took part in an emotional rededication ceremony with parents William and Kate at their grandmother’s family home. It is understood the quiet service, also attended by Prince Harry and Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, was “age-appropriate”.
A source said: “It is 20 years since Princess Diana’s death and it is important to them that George and Charlotte are able to show their respects.” William was 15 and his brother Harry 12 when Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. She was buried on an island in the ornamental Oval Lake at the Althorp Estate in Northamptonshire.
Diana’s two older sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, 60, and Baroness Fellowes, 62, attended yesterday’s service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Prince of Wales and Camilla were conspicuous absentees as Charles performed royal duties in Ottawa to mark Canada Day with the Duchess of Cornwall.
Her sons are commemorating the anniversary by commissioning a statue of their mother which will stand in the public gardens of her old home, Kensington Palace in London. And the Diana Award – a charity established to promote the Princess’s belief in the positive power of young people – is staging a year-long celebration of her qualities of kindness, compassion and service.
The service comes after William and Harry chose to speak publicly about the impact their mum’s death had on them. William, 35, said in a GQ interview: “I am in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more openly.”
Prince Harry said earlier this month: “My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, 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. I don’t think it would happen today.”