22 years after Princess Diana's tragic death, her sons have worked hard to keep her memory alive. From special traditions to small wedding decisions, the princes have included her in every important aspect of their lives.
On August 31, 1997, Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris. Her death was devastating and the entire world mourned her passing.
Her funeral gave rise to a particularly painful moment involving her two sons. Then 15-year-old Prince William and 12-year-old Prince Harry walked behind their mother’s coffin from London’s St. James’s Place to Westminster Cathedral in a heart-breaking farewell to their mother.
Earl Spencer, Prince William, Prince Harry, Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh follow the coffin to the funeral cortege of Diana, Princess of Wales as it arrives at Westminster Abbey on September 6, 1997 | Getty Images
Twenty-two years have gone by since the People's Princess passed on. However, her sons have ensured her memory has been kept alive.
From tiny nods to her in their weddings to special tributes to their mother, Diana's beloved sons have held her memory close to their hearts. Here is a look at some of the ways they have honored her memory over the years.
Diana Princess of Wales and Charles Prince of Wales hold Prince Harry and Prince William on the deck of the Royal Yacht Britannia, during the Royal Tour of Italy | Getty Images
A royal insider revealed that every year on August 31 the princes have a special tradition they follow to honor their mother's memory. traditions. The brothers reportedly meet up and spend the day together every year.
"They talk about the little things about Diana that made them laugh."
According to the source, they usually have lunch or dinner at Kensington Palace in London. During the meal, they reminisce about their mother.
Diana Princess of Wales with Prince William at a photocall on the lawn of Government House on April 23, 1983 | Getty Images / Global Images Ukraine
"They talk about the little things about Diana that made them laugh: the ski trips and outings to Thorpe Park [a British amusement park]; the effort she went to on their birthdays — all of it," said the insider.
After their time together and the pair then invite their wives and children to join them as well. Besides remembering their mother, William and Harry also discuss Princess Diana's legacy and how to keep it alive.
Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, holds Prince Harry whilst on holiday in Majorca, Spain on August , 1988 | Getty Images
Diana was known as the People’s Princess due to her commitment to helping others. She used the media to draw attention to many charities and charitable causes.
From wearing body armor during a visit to a landmine field in Angola to support the mine-removal charity Halo Trust to hugging orphaned toddlers who were HIV positive in Brazil, nothing stopped the princess from working to better the lives of those around her. She often took her sons with her for these memorable events.
Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, smiles as she carries her newborn baby, Prince Harry when she leaves St. Mary's Hospital
In 2005, when Prince Williams became a patron of Centrepoint, a London charity helping homeless youth prepare for a life off the streets,he credited his mother saying
“My mother introduced that sort of area to me a long time ago. It was a real eye-opener and I am very glad she did. It has been something I have held close to me for a long time.”
Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry attend the Heads of State VE Remembrance Service in Hyde Park | Getty Images
Prince Harry also followed her lead and has worked with Halo Trust as well as organizations working to cure HIV and AIDS. The prince even live-streamed his own AIDS test in 2016.
“It is time for a new generation of leaders to step forward,” he said at an AIDS conference. “It is time for us to step up to make sure no young person feels any shame in asking for an HIV test.”
Prince William arrives with Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Harry for his first day at Eton College on September 16, 1995 | Getty Images
During a 1995 interview with the BBC, Princess Diana opened up and discussed self-harm and depression. She said:
“When no one listens to you, or you feel no one’s listening to you, all sorts of things start to happen. For instance, you have so much pain inside yourself that you try and hurt yourself on the outside because you want help, but it’s the wrong help you’re asking for.”
The Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry look at floral tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales outside Kensington Palace on September 5, 1997 in London, England | Getty Images
While her sons might not believe their mother had mental health issues, they joined forces with Prince William's wife, Duchess Kate Middleton, to launch the organization Heads Together.
“The Royal Family has not normally done this, three members of the family pulling together to focus on one thing. Normally things are quite disjointed, we follow our own interests and see where it goes, but we thought, well, if we tied it together and had a focused approach, how would that work? We wanted to see the impact we could have,” Prince William said in a GQ interview.
Diana, Princess of Wales, with her young sons Prince William and Prince Harry arrive at Aberdeen Airport for the start of their holidays in Scotland | Getty Images
“We are all three of us trying to understand the tentacles of mental health, which go everywhere,” added the prince.
Her sons view the organization as a continuation of her work and advocacy for mental health. Fans of the royal family also believe it is a subtle nod to her ability to break the royal status quo for the greater good.
Diana, Princess of Wales attends a gala concert during a tour of Australia on April 14, 1983 | Getty Images
"What my mother believed in is...the fact that you are in a position of privilege or a position of responsibility and if you can put your name to something that you genuinely believe in...then you can smash any stigma you want,” said Prince Harry in a seperate interview.
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