TODAY marks 20 years since the death of Princess Diana — a woman loved by millions of people around the world.
When she married into the British royal family, Diana became known as The People’s Princess because of her kindness to all people. She was the most popular woman in the world during her lifetime.
Today her legacy will be remembered with many events across Britain.
Princess Diana was adored by both the public and the press and was the most photographed woman in the world for decades. Her image regularly appeared on magazine covers across the world.
Many believe Diana’s lasting impact was bringing the royal family into the 21st century and more in touch* with the public.
However, she was best known for her tireless* charity work which included supporting campaigns relating to health issues, landmines and animal protection.
She will forever be remembered as the royal who reached out to shake hands with AIDS patients when they were shunned* by much of society.
Tragically, she died on August 31, 1997 in a car crash in a Paris road tunnel. Her death triggered a wave of mourning across the globe — the likes of which had never been seen before.
In the days following her death a sea of flowers and tributes were left outside the gates of Kensington Palace where she lived, in an enormous display of public grief.
Her funeral was held on September 6, 1997 at Westminster Abbey and was shown on television, attracting an audience of 2.5 billion viewers around the world.
WHO WAS PRINCESS DIANA BEFORE SHE BECAME A ROYAL?
She was born Diana Spencer on July 1, 1961 and died aged just 36.
In 1975 she became Lady Diana Spencer after her dad inherited the title Earl Spencer.
On July 29 1981 she married Prince Charles at St Paul’s Cathedral and became the Princess of Wales.
She also had the titles Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Rothesay and Countess of Chester.
The Royal couple had two sons, Prince William born in 1982 and Prince Harry in 1984.
WHERE IS PRINCESS DIANA BURIED?
Princess Diana is buried on an island in the Althorp Estate, which has been the Spencer family home for centuries.
Earlier plans for her to be laid to rest in the family’s vault in the nearby Great Brington church were abandoned due to concerns about security and safety.
WHERE ARE THE MEMORIALS TO PRINCESS DIANA?
There are many memorials to Princess Diana, including several in London.
The latest to be unveiled is a memorial garden at Kensington Palace which marks the 20th anniversary of her death.
The White Garden is inspired by the Princess’ life and style.
The Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park was opened by the Queen in July 2004.
The design aimed to reflect Diana’s life with water flowing from the highest point in two directions.
It cascades* and swirls before the two streams meet in a calm pool at the bottom.
In June 2000 a memorial playground was opened next to her Kensington Palace home, featuring a huge wooden pirate ship.
HOW IS THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY BEING MARKED?
Many events have been organised to mark the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, with her sons Prince William and Harry taking a leading role.
Diana’s sons have commissioned a statue, which will be erected in the grounds of Kensington palace.
In a joint statement they said: “We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.”
An exhibition of Princess Diana’s possessions will be on display at Buckingham Palace as part of a special tribute.
The Diana Award, a charity set up to preserve* her legacy, is holding events targeted at children including special awards and a national kindness day.
in touch: current and with the times
shunned: rejected and avoided
tireless : unwavering
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
C LASSROOM ACTIVITIES
Explain why Princess Diana is still important to many people today in a few sentences.
Include information from the story.
As you have read and heard, Princess Diana was a member of the British Royal Family and she was married to Prince Charles.
Do you know what role the British Royal Family plays in Australia?
Find out about them and write some paragraphs to explain.
Time: allow 55 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: English, Civics and Citizenship
One of the events designed to pay tribute to Princess Diana will be a national kindness day.
Create a program of events and activities that you think should be held on the national day of kindness.
Then design a poster for your school to advertise the day. Your poster should encourage people to understand why this is an important day.
Princess Diana was one of the most famous people in the world and she was known for her work helping people.
Think about someone in your community who also does this but is not a celebrity.
Design a memorial or something else to pay tribute to this person.
Include an explanation of why you chose this person and what your design says about them.
Time: allow 80 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum links: Civics and Citizenship, Visual Design Communication, Design and Technologies
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