August 31 will mark the 24th anniversary of Diana’s tragic death in a car crash. The fatal incident took place at around half-past midnight after the princess and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed had left a restaurant in Paris. To mark the occasion, the Princess of Wales’ statue in Kensington Palace, which was unveiled by her sons Prince William and Prince Harry last month, will be specially opened to the public.
Due to the pandemic Kensington Palace and its Gardens are usually only accessible to the public from Wednesday to Sunday, yet Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) have announced that well-wishers would have access to the statue from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday.
The 1997 crash shocked the world while it also proved an immense challenge for the Queen, who was alleged to have ordered the quarrelling Prince Charles and Diana to divorce after years of public back and forth blows on television and in the press.
The public affection towards the princess meant the Royal Family faced incredible difficulty when it came to winning back support.
The Queen had to confront further backlash for her decision to remain in her Balmoral Estate in the immediate aftermath of Diana’s death.
Her Majesty signalled in a rare interview that the move had been influenced by her and Prince Philip’s desire to shield William and Harry from attention.
According to Joe Garner, of podcast We Interrupt This Broadcast, the Queen “made up” for error when she bowed to Diana at her funeral.
The monarch is usually strict in her adherence to royal protocol, but broke one of the cardinal royal rules on the occasion of Diana’s funeral, as she bowed to a lower rank.
Mr Garner’s podcast examines the reporting around landmark events across the world, including the death of the Princess of Wales in 1997, aged 36.
He told Express.co.uk: “I think she made up for it when she bowed as the gun carriage carrying the casket came by.”
Mr Garner added that the Royal Family also pushed back against Prime Minister Tony Blair’s decision to have Diana’s casket in a hearse for security reasons.
He said: “Because of her honorary titles she was entitled to a gun carriage.
“[The Palace explained to the Government] If she’s in a hearse you can’t touch her metaphorically, but if she is in the gun carriage then people can touch her.
“Tony Blair’s representatives immediately went ‘absolutely, it has to be that way’.
“The procession was with her on the gun carriage, so people can feel like they have a connection to her.”
Last year Italian documentary Ulisse suggested that the Queen’s unprecedented break of protocol was crucial to reigniting the Royal Family’s relationship with the public.
Documentary presenter Alberto Angela said: “It is known that before the Queen, who is the symbol of national unity, everyone bowed.
“But that day it was Elizabeth who bowed her head as a sign of respect for the passage of Diana’s coffin, the woman who more than anyone else had defied the conventions of the Palace.
“That bow is perhaps one of the strongest images in her entire reign.
“Even in the darkest hour, Elizabeth put her mission first and demonstrated that she can find inspiration even from the most painful confrontation, the one with the woman who had won the hearts of her subjects.
“From that dramatic moment, the monarchy came out even stronger.”
Listen to We Interrupt This Broadcast on all major podcast platforms.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK