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Britain marks 10th anniversary of Princess Diana death

Friday, August 31st 2007 - 21:00 UTC
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Prince Harry: she was “the best mother in the world”. Prince Harry: she was “the best mother in the world”.

Prince Harry has told a service to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, that she was “the best mother in the world”. Family and friends this Friday joined Princes William and Harry for the service at Guards' Chapel near Buckingham Palace.

Harry told the congregation, which included Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Prince Charles: "She made us and so many other people happy." The Bishop of London Right Reverend Dr. Richard Chartres said it was now time to "let Diana rest in peace; let it end there". Harry, who was 12 when his mother was killed, said her death was "indescribably shocking and sad", and changed his life and that of his brother forever. "When she was alive we completely took for granted her unrivalled love of life, laughter, fun and folly. "We both think of her every day. We speak about her and laugh together at all the memories." Prince William, who was 15 when Diana died, gave a reading from St Paul's letter to the Ephesians which asked for inner strength. Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, also gave a reading. The service included Diana's favourite classical music by composers Rachmaninov and Mozart and four hymns, concluding with Diana's favourite, I Vow To Thee, My Country. Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his predecessors Tony Blair and John Major were accompanied by their wives to the service. The Duchess of Cornwall was invited to the hour-long memorial but decided not to attend, saying her presence would be a distraction. Former members of the princess's staff, all of the bridesmaids and page boys from her 1981 wedding, and over 110 representatives of charities and organizations with which she was associated were also on the guest list. Earlier, Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi died in the crash alongside the princess, laid flowers at a shrine he has built at the London store and held a two-minute silence. Other memorial services for the princess were held at venues across the UK, including Manchester, Bristol, Aberdeen and Cardiff. Admirers of the late princess have tied flowers and cards to the gates of Kensington Palace - her former London residence - as they did in 1997 after her death. Members of the public have also left bouquets and gifts at Althorp, where Diana is buried, at the gate of Sandringham estate in Norfolk where she was born. Tributes to the late princess have also been left near the Eternal Flame monument by the tunnel in Paris where she was killed. Princess Diana died, aged 36, along with her companion Dodi Al Fayed, 42, and chauffeur Henri Paul, when the Mercedes they were in crashed in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel on 31 August 1997. The princess's death provoked an unprecedented outpouring of grief in Britain, with hundreds of thousands gathering to mourn outside Kensington Palace, where they left a sea of floral tribute.

Categories: Politics, International.

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