When Princess Diana first stepped into the spotlight as Prince Charles’ young, vivacious bride, her beauty, charisma and relatability made her an instant star. Though her life was cut tragically short, Diana left a lasting impact on the world, and everything from her groundbreaking humanitarian work to her mischievous smile still captures the public’s attention.
Leading up to August 31, 2017, the 20th anniversary of her death, the People’s Princess was remembered by fans, friends and her sons, Princes William and Harry, who opened up about their mother in an unprecedented way. In the documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, the princes allowed cameras to capture them as they flipped through personal childhood photo albums.
Although the filmmakers revealed that William and Harry prefaced their interviews by saying they didn’t have vivid recollections of their mother, once the royals started looking through the photographs, a score of joyous memories came flooding back. They reminisced about her hugs, her “crazy laugh” and the time she surprised William with a visit from supermodels Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford. “I was completely and utterly sort of awestruck,” said William. “That was a very funny memory that’s lived with me about her, loving and embarrassing and being sort of the joker.”
Harry also stated they felt it was their duty to keep Diana’s memory alive. “I think it’s never going to be easy for us to talk about our mother, but 20 years on seems like a good time to remind people of the difference that she made, not just to the royal family but also to the world.”
In many ways, the princess is still very much a part of her sons’ lives. William and Harry have continued her legacy by supporting charities that were dear to Diana and expanding their humanitarian work to include mental-health advocacy.
“All I want to do is fill the holes that my mother has left, and between myself and William, and everyone else who’s in those privileged positions, to try and make a difference,” said Harry. “That’s what it’s about for us. To try and make a difference.”
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