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It has been 15 years since, in a dark tunnel in Paris, a car carrying Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed, prominent businessman, crashed into the tunnel’s wall following a chase by the paparazzi. That car crash, which became one of history’s most famous in a split second, killed both of the car’s famed occupants within a few short hours.
After Diana’s death, there was an out powering of public mourning and sorrow for the fallen royal, much of which manifested itself in an enormous display of flowers outside Diana’s home, Kensington Palace.
While eventually, the display of flowers dwindled, Kensington Palace still remains a symbol of the late princess, especially now, as the new home of her son, Prince William, and his wife, Kate Middleton. This year, in honor of the 15th anniversary of Diana’s death, many placed flowers, posters and other items in front of the gates at Kensington Palace, just as they did 15 years ago.
With the royal family in the news more than ever thanks to the good (Prince William’s wedding last year, watched by 2 billion worldwide), and the bad (Prince Harry’s naked games of strip billiards and subsequent naked photos in Las Vegas), the memory of Diana is still ever-present in the minds of people both in Great Britain and worldwide. A new film, chronicling the last two years of her life, starring Naomi Watts, will be released next year.
However, along with sadness, there is an insatiable curiosity that comes with Diana’s memory. The most notable attempt at quenching the curiosity about what Diana’s life would have been like, had she lived past that fateful August day, came in the form of a Newsweek magazine cover that featured a digitally aged Diana alongside her now daughter in law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The magazine painted the 50-year-old Diana as an iPhone user, a continuing humanitarian, and best friend to Kate’s mom, Carole. While the magazine’s cover outraged some, it’s hard to deny the appeal of the accompanying article, which paints Diana as happy and content – something she never seemed to obtain during her cut-short life.
Despite Diana’s untimely death, Diana’s legacy remains – just take a look at Kate’s left ring finger. Rest in peace, Diana. We miss you.