On this day in history, September 6, 1997, Princess Diana is eulogized at her funeral in Westminster Abbey
Princess Diana was eulogized at her funeral in Westminster Abbey on this day in history, Sept. 6, 1997.
Thousands of mourners lined the streets to catch a glimpse as the procession made its way through the streets of London.
More than 2,000 people attended her funeral, including family members, celebrities, royals and dignitaries.
In addition, an estimated 2.5 billion people around the globe tune in to TV broadcasts of the funeral of Diana, who died at age 36 in a car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997, noted History.com.
In the early hours of August 31, the driver of Diana’s car lost control of the vehicle while trying to elude paparazzi and crashed in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris.
Diana’s companion, Dodi al-Fayed, also died in the crash, as did driver, Henri Paul.
It was later determined Paul was speeding and under the influence of alcohol, multiple sources indicated.
The United Kingdom experienced an outpouring of public grief over Diana’s death.
Diana’s friend, the musical icon Elton John, performed a reworked version of his song “Candle in the Wind,” which he and Bernie Taupin had originally written about Marilyn Monroe.
Diana’s brother, Lord Charles Spencer, eulogized Diana and blamed the media for his sister’s death, calling her the “most hunted person of the modern age,” History.com reported.
The image of Prince William, then age 15, and Prince Harry, then age 12, walking solemnly with their father behind Diana’s casket in her funeral cortège became iconic, said Britannica.com.
Diana was born on July 1, 1961, near Sandringham, England.
She was the daughter of Edward John Spencer, the Viscount Althorp, and Frances Ruth Burke Roche, who was later known as the Honorable Frances Shand Kydd, according to Biography.com.
She is remembered as always having a great fondness for children.
After attending finishing school at Institut Alpin Videmanette in Switzerland, Diana moved to London, where she began working with children, eventually becoming an assistant at Young England Kindergarten, the same source chronicled.
Prince Charles — today King Charles III — originally dated the older sister of Diana.
In the summer of 1980, Charles first took interest in Diana as a potential bride when they reconnected at a mutual friend’s home, according to several sources. He was 13 years older than her.
The couple only dated a few months when Prince Charles proposed in Windsor Castle on Feb. 3, 1981.
Prince Charles proposed to Diana with an 18-karat white gold ring topped with a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds, according to Biorgraphy.com.
On her wedding day, she became Diana, Princess of Wales, when she married Prince Charles on July 29, 1981.
Their wedding took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral with 2,650 guests. Diana wore a taffeta wedding dress made with silk and antique lace and 10,000 pearls, according to several sources.
The royal couple had two sons together: Prince William Arthur Philip Louis, born on June 21, 1982, and Prince Henry Charles Albert David — known widely as Prince Harry — born on Sept. 15, 1984.
During her 15-year marriage to Prince Charles, the son of Queen Elizabeth II and at the time the heir to the British throne, she became one of the most famous and most photographed people in the world.
The couple divorced on Aug. 28, 1996, after being separated for four years.
On Dec. 9, 1992, Prime Minister John Major declared, “It is announced from Buckingham Palace that, with regret, the Prince and Princess of Wales have decided to separate,” said Town and Country Magazine.
In exchange for a generous settlement, and the right to retain her apartments at Kensington Palace and her title of Princess of Wales, Diana agreed to relinquish the title of “Her Royal Highness” and any future claims to the British throne, said History.com.
In the year following the divorce, the popular princess seemed well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming “a queen in people’s hearts,” but she died so tragically, cited History.com.
Diana enjoyed a very close relationship with her sons.
“She wanted her children to have as normal an upbringing as possible and treated them to days out at theme parks, sent them to public school and took them on royal tours,” said Hello Magazine.
In turn, William and Harry have honored their mother’s legacy by continuing some of her most vital charity work, the same source said.
Diana was laid to rest at Althorp, her family’s estate in Northamptonshire, England.