It’s hard to believe it’s been 19 years since the tragic car crash in Paris that robbed the world of Princess Diana. Though she was just 36, the woman dubbed the “People’s Princess” by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair had already made an exceptional mark on the world – changing the lives of everyone she met, and many she didn’t.
Since her death on Aug. 31, 1997, admirers around the globe have been looking for ways to honour the late princess – but no one has cherished her memory more than her two sons, princes William and Harry. “Not a day goes past without you thinking about the one you have lost,” William has said.
Ahead of the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death next year, the royal brothers plan to open a garden and exhibition at Diana’s former residence, Kensington Palace, where they both currently live. “We want to make sure that there’s something she’s remembered by,” said Harry. “There’s certainly not enough on the right scale in London or anywhere in the U.K., that she’s remembered for.”
The 2017 tribute will likely become a part of the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk, an 11-km trail marked by 90 plaques throughout London. The Walk passes by some of the most significant places in the princess’s life including Kensington and Buckingham Palaces as well as St. James’s Palace, where her coffin lay in the Chapel Royal before her funeral. There’s also a children’s playground in Diana’s name in Kensington Gardens, and a memorial fountain in neighbouring Hyde Park, opened by the Queen in 2004.
Ten years after her death, William and Harry commemorated their beloved mother with the Concert for Diana – a star-studded show held at Wembley Stadium on Diana’s birthday, July 1. Her favourite band, Duran Duran, and her close friend, Sir Elton John, were among those who performed for the 60,000-strong audience, with ticket sales raising money for the princess’s charities.
“This evening is about all that our mother loved in life,” William said at the time. “Her music, her dance, her charities and her family and friends.”
Of course, Diana’s most lasting legacy is her children and grandchildren. “We will do everything we can to make sure she’s never forgotten and carry on all the special gifts, as such, that she had and that she portrayed while she was alive,” Harry promised, adding: “I hope that a lot of my mother’s talents are shown in a lot of the work that I do.”