Princes William and Harry will mark the 25th anniversary of the death of their mother, Princess Diana, on Wednesday.
The former Lady Diana Spencer, who captivated the world with her fairytale marriage to Prince Charles, died in a car crash on August 31, 1997.
Five years ago, her sons attended a series of public memorial services marking her life and spoke about the lasting impact her death had on them.
This year, the brothers will not be attending the official memorial service, preferring instead to commemorate the memorial in private with their own families.
William, 40, recently announced that he would be moving from London to an estate in Windsor, west of London, with his wife Katherine and three young children.
Harry, 37, lives in California with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their two children in early 2020.
The Daily Telegraph said Saturday that the brothers “agreed to draw a line under their public memorial” on their 20th anniversary.
A spokesperson for both couples confirmed that they would be spending the day privately.
Princess Diana’s shocking death at the age of just 36 has resulted in a mass of wreaths at the gates of her former London home, Kensington Palace.
Fortune-seekers are expected to once again lay flowers at the palace and near the entrance to the Paris road tunnel where the high-speed crash occurred.
Diana continues to be widely revered as a fashion icon, and especially for navigating stifling royal conventions after her very public divorce.
She has also been praised for her philanthropic work highlighting the scourge of landmines and encouraging change in attitudes towards people with HIV/AIDS.
Last weekend, her former sporty Ford Escort sold at auction for £737,000 ($864,000).
Her marital troubles will also be featured in the latest series of Netflix’s hit drama, The Crown, later this year.
Joe Little, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said Diana has influenced her sons and is less formal than traditional royals.
“They’re more ‘touchy’ than ever,” he said, pointing to William’s embrace of the English women’s footballer after winning Euro 2022 this month.
“William understands that there is little need for the formality of royal life that existed when his father was his age.
“I want to share my mother’s spirit with my family and children,” said Harry, who admitted last week that he’s been struggling with mental health issues due to his mother’s death.
“I’m proud of her every day,” he said last week at a fundraising dinner for Sentebale, a charity that helps young people living with HIV, in the United States.
“I want the day to be filled with memories of her amazing work and love for the way she did it,” he added.
William and Harry were just 15 and 12 when Diana died. It provided a lasting image of her funeral, walking with her head bowed behind her coffin.
Last year, on her 60th birthday, the brothers unveiled a statue of her at Kensington Palace.
They said they remembered “her love, strength, and character—the qualities that made her a force for good around the world and changed countless lives for the better.”
But the rift, which is said to date back to shortly after Harry started dating Meghan, was largely hidden.
The two were briefly seen together at the funeral of Prince Philip, husband of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in April 2021.
They were also separated at a recent public celebration to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s accession to the throne.
William angrily refuted the allegations in a televised interview from the royal racist couple.
Harry, who will reveal more in his next memoir, says that William and his father were locked in a lair.
The couple will be attending a series of charity events in the UK next week and will stay close to William and Kate at their sprawling Windsor estate.
There are reportedly no plans for the brothers to meet, nor for Harry to visit his ailing 96-year-old grandmother at a retreat in Balmoral, Scotland.- AFP