She captured the hearts of the British nation and of millions around the world and died tragically in a car accident at the age of 36, but Lady Di’s memory lives on: The industry that sells merchandise and paraphernalia in her memory makes millions of pounds annually, paparazzi and the gossip columns still follow her family and even the conspiracy theories are still making the rounds.
20 years without Princess Diana: Exactly 20 years ago today on August 31, 1997, just after midnight, a fatal car accident took place inside the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, killing 3. Slowly, reports began to come in which said that the beloved Princess Diana was one of the casualties.
Diana entered the royal family and the public limelight at the young age of 20 and was married to Charles for 11 years. She captivated the hearts of the people with her warm and down-to-Earth disposition and helped more than 90 charities around the world. No less than two and a half billion people watched Princess Diana’s funeral procession, making it one of the most popular broadcasts in the history of television.
Diana with her son William Photo Credit: Reuters/ Channel 2 News
Two decades have passed since the tragic moment that shook millions around the world, but Diana’s character is still very much present and revered. To this day, the Kensington Palace in London, where she lived in the years that she was married to Prince Charles, is frequented by Diana’s fans who lay bouquets and wreaths to mark her birthday and the anniversary of her death.
Since her death, a profitable industry has filled the void she left behind. Diana’s memory is now worth millions of pounds a year in accessories, souvenirs and exhibitions. One exhibit displaying the clothing that Diana wore, for example, has been successfully selling tickets for months. Her name is still considered one of the world’s best known brands.
Following her death, many conspiracy theories emerged. One of the most popular theories supposes that Diana’s accident was actually a premeditated assassination. Diana’s partner at the time, Dodi Fayed, was in the car with her and was also killed in the accident, leading many to believe that the Fayed family’s enemies were responsible for their death. Others blame the British royal family, believing that Diana was pregnant with Fayed’s child when she was killed. Though the theories were refuted by the authorities years ago, they will likely live on- together with Diana’s beloved memory.