Heritage

30 Heartbreaking Photos of Princess Diana's Funeral

Twenty years ago, the world looked on as Prince William and Prince Harry laid their mother to rest.
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From the time she married Prince Charles in 1981, Princess Diana was a beloved figure in Britain, but few could have imagined the outpouring of grief that followed her death at age 36. As news spread of the accident that took her life on August 31, 1997, mourners flocked to Kensington and Buckingham Palaces to leave flowers, gifts, and cards. In a country famed for its stiff upper lip, people wept openly in the streets, keening the loss of a beautiful young mother—and venting their anger at the monarchy they believed had treated her cruelly. Her funeral, like her wedding, was viewed around the world. And people wept again as they watched two boys, Prince William and Prince Harry, say goodbye to their mother.


FLOWERS WERE LEFT IN TRIBUTE OUTSIDE OF BOTH BUCKINGHAM PALACE AND KENSINGTON PALACE IN TRIBUTE TO PRINCESS DIANA.


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DIANA'S FUNERAL CORTEGE, LEAVING BUCKINGHAM PALACE


PRINCE HARRY AND PRINCE WILLIAM WALK BEHIND THEIR MOTHER'S CASKET IN THE FUNERAL PROCESSION

They were flanked by their father, Prince Charles, their grandfather, Prince Philip, and their uncle, Earl Spencer. Earlier this year, Harry revealed that walking behind his mother's coffin that day was torturous. "My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television," Harry said during an interview with Newsweek. "I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today."


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QUEEN ELIZABETH II AND THE DUKE OF EDINBURG ARRIVE AT THE FUNERAL


MEMBERS OF THE QUEEN'S WELSH GUARD SERVED AS PALLBEARERS


PRINCE WILLIAM ALONGSIDE HIS UNCLE, DIANA'S BROTHER, EARL CHARLES SPENCER

Earl Spencer's eulogy during the service angered members of the royal family, a rift that has only begun to heal in recent years. Read his full funeral speech, here.

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PRINCESS DIANA'S CASKET, DRAPED WITH THE ROYAL STANDARD, BEING CARRIED INTO WESTMINSTER ABBEY


ELTON JOHN PERFORMING "CANDLE IN THE WIND" DURING THE SERVICE

John and his collaborator rewrote the lyrics of the song to pay tribute to Diana.


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MOHAMED AL-FAYED AT DIANA'S FUNERAL

Al-Fayed's son, Dodi, died alongside Diana in Paris.


THEN-PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR AND HIS WIFE CHERIE OUTSIDE THE SERVICE


SARAH FERGUSON, DUCHESS OF YORK, WITH HER DAUGHTERS EUGENIE AND BEATRICE


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MEMBERS OF THE FASHION INDUSTRY, INCLUDING CATHERINE WALKER (LEFT), DONATELLA VERSACE, AND ANNA WINTOUR TURNED OUT TO PAY TRIBUTE TO DIANA


THE QUEEN AND QUEEN MOTHER TAKE IN THE CROWDS OUTSIDE THE CHURCH


THE MEDIA OUTSIDE WESTMINSTER ABBEY


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TOM BROKAW, KATIE COURIC, AND ANDREW BROWN COVERING THE FUNERAL


A POLICE OFFICER ARRANGES BOUQUETS OUTSIDE THE PALACE


MOURNERS OUTSIDE WESTMINSTER ABBEY


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MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY AT THE FUNERAL


MEDIA MOGUL RICHARD BRANSON CARRYING A WHITE ROSE OUTSIDE THE CHURCH


DESIGNER KARL LAGERFELD


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DIANA'S STEP-MOTHER, RAINE, COUNTESS SPENCER

Countess Spencer died last year at the age of 87.


HILLARY CLINTON AT THE FUNERAL


AMERICAN CELEBRITIES

Actors Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, and Tom Hanks were among the mourners at the funeral.


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GEORGE MICHAEL, PICTURED HERE NEXT TO BRITISH POLITICIAN DAVID TRIMBLE

Michael famously "bawled his eyes out" at the funeral. "I had forgotten my hanky and I was really streaming. I was one of the few people in that part of Westminster Abbey that was really blubbering and I remember thinking:' God, this is going to be really embarrassing.' But it was almost like I was reliving my mum's funeral," he said.


PRINCESS MARGARET WITH HER SON LORD LINLEY AND HIS WIFE LEAVING THE SERVICE


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ITALIAN OPERATIC TENOR LUCIANO PAVAROTTI


PRINCE HARRY STANDING WITH HIS BROTHER PRINCE WILLIAM AND HIS FATHER, PRINCE CHARLES

In advance of the 20th anniversary of Diana's death, Harry revealed that he cried only twice following his mother's death. "The first time I cried was at the funeral on the island. And only since then, maybe once more," he said. "There's a lot of grief that still needs to be... to be let out."


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PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE WILLIAM, AND PRINCE HARRY LOOKING AT THE FLOWERS LEFT OUTSIDE THE PALACE

In the new HBO documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, Prince Harry, who was just 12 years old when Diana died, said "I was thinking to myself how is it so many people who have never met this woman, my mother, can be crying and showing more emotion than I am?"


THE HEARSE DRIVING AWAY FROM THE FUNERAL SERVICE


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DIANA'S FINAL RESTING PLACE AT HER FAMILY'S ALTHORP ESTATE

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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