Princess Diana celebrated her last birthday amid powerful outpouring of public affection

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DIANA, Princess of Wales, turned 36 on July 1st 1997, a year after she finalised her divorce from Prince Charles.

The People’s Princess was overwhelmed with gifts from friends and admirers to help her mark her special day. In a sign of her remarkable popularity, Diana received 90 bouquets of flowers from her well wishers, according to Tina Brown’s 2007 biography The Diana Chronicles. Later that evening, the Princess attended a gala charity event at London’s Tate Gallery, dressed in a stunning black floor-length beaded gown.

The dress was a present from fashion designer Jacques Azagury, and had been delivered to Kensington Palace in the morning.

Princess Diana celebrates her 36th birthday (Image: Getty)
Princess Diana celebrates her 36th birthday (Image: Getty)

Tragically, it would be the last birthday she celebrated before her untimely death.

Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris at the end of August, along with her fiancé Dodi Al-Fayed.

Princess Diana (Image: Getty)
Princess Diana (Image: Getty)

Prior to the accident, Diana had thrown herself into her charitable work, as she sought to carve out a new life and purpose for herself, following her royal exit.

She told Vanity Fair in an interview that she wanted to use her public position to help people in need.

“Nothing gives me more pleasure now than being able to love and help those in our society who are vulnerable,” she said.

Princess Diana (Image: Getty)
Princess Diana (Image: Getty)

“If I can contribute a little something, then I am more than content.”

A new statue of the People’s Princess is due to be unveiled in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden this July, on what would have been her 60th birthday.

It was commissioned by Princes William and Harry on the 20th anniversary of her death in 2017.

Princess Diana (Image: Getty)
Princess Diana (Image: Getty)

The statue was created by British artist Ian Rank-Broadley, who also designed UK coins which feature the Queen’s profile from 1998 onwards.

In a joint statement when they announced the project, the brothers said: “We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.”

The royal brothers are expected to put their feud on hold and present a united front for the occasion.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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