When did Princess Diana die and how old was she? | The Sun
ON August 31, 1997, millions of hearts broke worldwide as the news of Princess Diana's death was announced.
She was known to many as the People's Princess, and since her death a number of poignant tributes have been placed around London to honour the life and work of Diana.
When and how did Princess Diana die?
Princess Diana, also known as Diana Frances Spencer, died on August 31, 1997, after suffering fatal injuries in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris.
The tunnel is located in the heart of the French capital next to the River Seine.
Her companion Dodi Fayed and driver and security guard Henri Paul were also killed in the devastating crash.
Diana's bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was severely injured but survived the accident.
In the days after her death, a sea of flowers and tributes were left outside the gates of Kensington Palace in an enormous outpouring of public grief, as those who loved and respected Diana paid their respects.
Diana's funeral was held on September 6, 1997, at Westminster Abbey and was shown on British television – attracting an audience of 32.1million viewers.
In 2008, an inquest held in London concluded that the Princess had been unlawfully killed.
The inquest found Diana's driver, Henri Paul's driving to be grossly negligent, as well as the pursuing of paparazzi vehicles.
Seven weeks before her death, Diana reportedly expressed concerns that she would be killed in an establishment conspiracy.
Princess Diana's concerns came after her friend and fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot dead by Andrew Cunanan outside his Miami mansion in 1997.
On the morning after his murder, Dodi's bodyguard Lee Sansum found Diana on the yacht's deck gazing out to sea, the Express reported.
According to the paper, she asked him: “Do you think they’ll do that to me?”
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, bodyguard Lee Sansum said he is adamant she would be alive today if he had been with her on the night she tragically died.
Speaking to The Sun, Lee Sansum spoke of how security guards drew straws to accompany bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones in the car, and that time he lost.
Lee said: ''It could have been me in that car.
"We drew straws to see who would be accompanying Trevor that weekend. I pulled a match, and it was a long one.
“When I learned they were not wearing seatbelts in the crash I understood why they didn’t survive. That shouldn’t have happened.
"It was standard practice for the family to wear seatbelts.
"It was an order sent down from the boss, Dodi’s dad Mohamed Fayed.
"Dodi, in particular, hated wearing seatbelts and I always insisted on it.”
How old was Princess Diana when she died?
Princess Diana was 36 years old when she died.
She was born on July 1, 1961.
In 1975 she became Lady Diana Spencer after her dad inherited the title, Earl Spencer.
Her brother Charles now holds that title.
On July 29, 1981, she married Prince Charles, who now holds the title of King, at St Paul's Cathedral and became the Princess of Wales.
She also held 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.
The separation of the Prince and Princess of Wales was announced to Parliament in 1992.
Diana was best known for her charity work which included supporting campaigns relating to Aids, leprosy, landmines and animal protection.
She was also the president of a number of charities, including Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
Speaking at her funeral, her younger brother Earl Spencer talked of her selfless work.
In his famous eulogy, Earl Spencer said: ''Without your God-given sensitivity we would be immersed in greater ignorance at the anguish of Aids and HIV sufferers, the plight of the homeless, the isolation of lepers, the random destruction of landmines.''
Where are the memorials to Princess Diana?
In the years following her death, a number of memorials were commissioned and dedicated to the People's Princess – including several in London.
Prince Harry and Prince William issued a rare joint statement to announce a statue of Princess Diana to be unveiled on what would have been her 60th birthday.
The artwork was originally commissioned in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of their mum and to recognise her positive impact on the world.
Kensington Palace said the installation had been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic – but was later unveiled by her sons on July 1, 2021.
In a rare joint statement, William and Harry said: "Our mother touched so many lives.
"We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy."
A memorial garden at Kensington Palace was also unveiled to mark the 20th anniversary of Diana's death.
Other commemorative spaces include The White Garden which was inspired by the Princess' life and style and the Diana Memorial Playground – both can be located in the grounds of Kensington Palace.
Visitors can also find the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park and the Princess Diana Memorial Walk at St James' Palace.
Where is Princess Diana buried?
Princess Diana's final resting place is in grounds of Althorp Estate – which has been the Spencer family home for centuries.
The actual area for burial is on an island in an ornamental lake known as The Oval within Althorp home's Pleasure Garden.
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.
The private burial was held following her funeral with family in attendance.
Although her final resting place is not open to the public, the island can be seen from a distance.
Those visiting Althorp Estate can pay their respects at a separate memorial site located in the grounds of the stately home.
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