Remember the burial of the beloved Lady Di, remarkable not only for the sadness of the event, but also for the uncertain position in which the British Crown was placed.
Princess Diana‘s death came as a huge shock to the UK. Although at the time she was no longer part of the royal monarchy officially, having divorced Prince Charles , she still had great symbolic importance for many, being called by the British population even the “princess of the heart”, since she was no longer of England.
To understand the magnitude of her loss, it is necessary to mention that figures such as Bill Clinton , then President of the United States, and Mother Teresa also spoke about it. The star Michael Jackson would also have canceled a show after receiving the news, because he was too shaken.
The fact that his death was so abrupt, in a tragic car accident, only made the situation even more shocking. The conditions in which the raid took place were also controversial: Diana had been harassed by paparazzi all her life, and the idea that she had died when she was once again evading camera clicks left a bitter taste in the mouths of Brits, with many blaming the British media for the end of the princess.
When the news reached the Royal Family, Queen Elizabeth II , Prince Charles and their two children, Princes William and Harry , were at Balmoral Palace in Scotland. There would still have been some silence on the part of the British Crown before the royals made their return to England, and addressed the matter of Lady Di ‘s death publicly.
They were greeted by a “sea of flowers nearly 100 meters long,” the AFP reportedly described at the time. The bouquets were a way for the British people to pay their condolences for the loss of the princess.
Following her divorce from Charles , Diana had lost the right to a national ceremony, and yet, under popular pressure, which still treated her as part of the monarchy, the Crown eventually relented and held a public funeral.
It is also worth mentioning that criticism of Queen Elizabeth ‘s delay in speaking out about her death also received harsh criticism, even shaking the English monarchy; at the time, one in four Britons declared themselves in favor of its end.
In the end, the funeral of William and Harry ‘s mother featured several elements usually reserved for the funeral ceremony of a head of state. His coffin was covered with the Royal Standard of the United Kingdom, and national flags flying from public buildings were flown at half-mast, in respect of national mourning.
The walk behind the coffin
Her children, then aged 15 and 12, as well as ex-husband Charles , brother Earl Charles Spencer and Prince Philip , Elizabeth ‘s husband , walked behind the coffin for about half an hour as they were watched closely by the camera lens.
In an interview with News Week in 2017, Harry , who was 12 years old when Diana died, recalled the event saying that: “My mother had just died, and I had to take a long walk behind her coffin, surrounded by hundreds of people. people watching me, while millions more watched on television. I don’t think children should have to participate in this under any circumstances. I don’t think that would happen today.”
The princess’s brother, Charles Spencer , also revealed to the BBC that same year that he had found the experience “bizarre and cruel”.
“I was fooled when they told me they wanted to do it, which of course they didn’t. It was the worst part of the day for a considerable time, walking behind my sister’s body with two boys who were obviously suffering too much. your loss.”, recounted the Count.
In the formal funeral ceremony of Lady Di , which took place at Westminster Abbey, there was the presence of several celebrities, among which were family, friends and important figures also linked to the monarchies.
Margaret Thatcher was there, as were Juan Carlos , King of Spain at the time, Constantine II , King of Greece, and Naruhito , the Crown Prince of Japan (currently Emperor of Japan).
Other personalities present were Hillary Clinton , Nelson Mandela , Tom Cruise and Elton John , who was close to Diana and sang the song “Candle in the Wind” in her honor.
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