Today marks the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s untimely death. Last week, Prince Harry gave a touching tribute to his late mother in a speech at the Sentebale Polo Cup in Aspen, Colorado. The annual charity match benefits Sentebale, an organization that supports young people in South Africa affected by HIV/AIDS, a cause which was near and dear to Diana’s heart.
Prince Harry and co-founder Prince Seeiso of Lesotho founded the organization in honor of their mothers and named it after the word for “forget-me-not” in the African language Sesotho. This name holds a lot of meaning, since it “[represents] a pledge to remember the most vulnerable children in the region,” according to the foundation’s website. Forget-me-nots also happen to be Princess Diana’s favorite flowers.
“[August 31] is the 25th anniversary of my mother’s death, and she will most certainly never be forgotten … I want [that day] to be filled with memories of her incredible work and love for the way she did it,” said the Duke of Sussex. “I want it to be a day to share the spirit of my mum with my family, with my children, who I wish could have met her.”
Prince Harry, 37, and his wife Meghan Markle, 41, now live in California with their 3-year-old son, Archie, and 1-year-old daughter, Lilibet (whose middle name is Diana, in honor of her grandmother).
Duke of Cambridge Prince William, 40, Harry’s older brother and Diana’s oldest son, has publicly commemorated Diana’s death alongside his brother in the past. However, this year, he is said to be honoring her memory separately and privately.
Her sons are far from the only ones commemorating Diana. London-based journalist Victoria Murphy noted that the public “are leaving flowers outside Kensington Palace” today in the princess’ memory. Mourners are also leaving flowers, cards, and photographs at the site of her fatal crash in Paris.
It’s no surprise that her death date continues to inspire global remembrance year after year. Diana has long been touted as “the people’s princess” for her dedication to helping others, her unique charm, and her fierce individualism — which sometimes put her at odds with the rest of the royal family. Her refusal to sacrifice her personal style for the sake of tradition also garnered scrutiny from the public eye at the time. Many were scandalized by her choice to wear blue jeans, and she would wear the same sweatshirt every time she left the gym so the waiting paparazzi would become bored of getting repetitive shots.
Diana’s kindness, fashion sense, and fearlessness continue to impact people today. To celebrate her legacy on the 25th anniversary of her passing, check out The Princess, a documentary on released on HBO on August 13, which provides “an immersive look at the life of Princess Diana,” including footage and details of her rocky relationship with Prince Charles, her journey into motherhood, her global influence, and her tragic death.