The Duke of Cambridge stunned well-wishers outside Kensington Palace last night by coming by and thanking them. They were holding an all-day vigil outside Kensington Palace to mark what would have been the 58th birthday of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Prince William stepped outside just before 7 o’clock with a small security detail and told them he had always known about the annual vigil. “William told me he knew we’d been coming here for years and thanked us for what we were doing for his mother. I’m still shaking now. I feel very emotional”, 59-year-old John Loughrey told the DailyMail. “He said ‘I’m touched by what you do, you’ve got quite the collection. I told him that I pray for his mother every Sunday at Westminster Abbey, and he seemed really touched. He shook my hand three times, he has a really firm shake, and I felt a beautiful feeling go through my body.”
Maria Scott added: “We are here to honour Diana’s legacy. We are two generations down now, and there are children growing up who don’t even know who she is. It’s important that we remind them and remember. None of us could believe it when William suddenly walked down the drive to come and thank us. He really is his mother’s son.”
Prince William spent a few minutes with the group before leaving as a crowd started to gather.
Diana, Princess of Wales, died on 31 August 1997 in a car crash as the driver was fleeing the paparazzi. Henri Paul lost control of the car at high speed while he was intoxicated and under the effects of prescription drugs and the vehicle struck the righthand wall, swerved to the left and collided head-on with a pillar that supported the roof. The car was travelling at an estimated speed of 105 km/h (65 mph). Diana, who had been sitting in the right rear passenger seat, was initially conscious after the crash and was transported to the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital where she died at 4 in the morning.
Her funeral on 6 September at Westminster Abbey drew 3 million mourners to London, while a further 2.5 billion people watched television coverage. Elton John performed a rewritten of “Candle in the Wind.” After the ceremony, Diana was buried in a private ceremony on an island in the middle of a lake at Althorp. Visitors can walk around the lake during the summer months and visit an exhibition about her life.