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Princess Diana will never be forgotten and her legacy will live on in the work of her sons, her Scotland Yard Protection Officer said today.
On the 20th Anniversary of her tragic death in a car crash in Paris, Inspector Ken Wharfe MVO – who shadowed the princess for 8 years when she was the worlds most famous person – said the princess was a “true one off” who changed the royal family forever for the better.
Speaking exclusively to the Evening Standard Mr. Wharfe – who guarded the princess and her sons from 1986 to the end of 1993 – said Diana’s unique spirit to help the downtrodden lives on in Princes William and Harry.
“Princess Diana had a unique ability to lift and inspire those around her.
“She was never afraid to fly in the face of convention and take on the Establishment if she thought it was worthwhile – as she did in the case of helping those stricken with AIDS and the Landmines issue.
“Her sons have shown the same courage of conviction as their late mother and are her lasting legacy. Diana changed the Royal Family forever and the institution of monarchy is certainly better for it,” said the Former Scotland Yard officer and media commentator.
His comments came after Harry and William yesterday took a moment to read emotional tributes to Diana in Kensington Palace gardens after visiting a memorial garden to mark 20 years since their mother’s death.
Twenty years on from when Kensington Gardens became an overnight memorial as mourners laid carpet of flowers in front of the palace, Diana’s fans returned this today to pay their respects laying more floral tributes.
Evelyn Marie Seidel, 68, who has come to Kensington Palace from Hamelin, Germany, on every anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, said she “gave so much.”
She said: “I feel as women we have to continue Lady Diana’s work. I work with children and volunteer in hospitals, like she did.
“She gave so much. No other Princess from any other monarchy will be like her. She went down in history over her tragic death and she still brings people together.”
Sarah Deprin, 68, from Florida, said: “I’m American but she is a favourite and we remember 20 years ago when we were heartbroken.
“We saw how she connected with people and helped people all over the world and we wanted to come here today when we realised it was the anniversary of her death.”
Samantha Imafidon, 20, was only three months old when Diana died, said: “As I grew up it was amazing to learn all she did.
“The fact that everyone is here today shows how much impact she had. She helped people with all the charity work she did – who doesn’t love someone who does that?”
On Twitter, Kensington Palace wrote: “The Duke and Prince Harry are grateful for the many flowers, letters and messages they have received about their mother.
“They wanted to say thank you to those who had made the journey to Kensington Palace.”
Peter Waddup from The Leprosy Mission, one of the charities Diana supported said she continues to have an impact, after becoming the most high profile person in the world to touch anyone who had leprosy.
He said: “There was certainly this opinion this woman that was admired by so many people that she is a bit crazy because she is getting near to people that most of us wouldn’t speak to and wouldn’t go near and so it was incredible the impact she had.”
William has said he tells his children, Prince George, four, and Princess Charlotte, two, about the grandmother they will never meet.
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