Diana’s ability to ‘connect’ was one of her greatest legacies, says charity boss

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Diana, Princess of Wales’s ability to “connect” with people remains one of her most enduring legacies a charity boss has said on the eve of the 25th anniversary of her death.

Diana’s death in 1997 shocked the world and in the decades that have followed her influence has been seen in the causes supported by royals, the way they conduct themselves and even in their fashion choices.

Her son the Duke of Sussex has said he will “share the spirit” of his mother with his children when he marks the anniversary of her death on Wednesday.

Ms Ojo said: “Her ability to connect with people though kindness and compassion is one of her most significant legacies. She left a mark on all our lives.”

She added: “Diana, Princess of Wales, believed that young people have the power to change the world. Continuing her legacy also means building the capacity of young people to change their world by tackling the big issues of our time.

Princess of Wales – Thorpe Park
Diana enjoying a day out at Thorpe Park amusement park with Harry and William (Cliff Kent/PA)

Fans of Diana are expected to gather at her former home of Kensington Palace and remember the royal who died in a Paris car crash on August 31 1997.

When Diana died aged 36 she was embarking on a new period of her life, free from the restraints of being a member of the monarchy and intent on using her position to champion the causes close to her heart.

AIDS Charities Diana
The Princess of Wales pictured in 2000 shaking hands with William Drake, a patient at London Lighthouse Aids Centre (PA)

Speaking last week after a fundraising polo match for his charity Sentebale, named in memory of his mother, Harry said about the anniversary of her death: “I want it to be a day filled with memories of her incredible work and love for the way she did it.

“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.

“Every day, I hope to do her proud. She was tireless in her work to support and destigmatise those experiencing HIV/AIDS. Fittingly, her favourite flowers were forget-me-nots.”

Diana’s 60th birthday
The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex unveiling a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Her fashion sense made her a cover star for magazines and newspapers across the globe and even after she broke away from the royal family was still seen as the modern face of the monarchy.

Diana’s sons jointly paid tribute to their mother last summer on July 1 when they unveiled a statue of the princess in the garden of Kensington Palace.

Divided on many issues, William and Harry put on a united front.

File photo dated 27/03/94 of the Princess of Wales and her two sons, Prince William (left) and Prince Harry, riding in a horse-drawn sleigh as they leave their hotel in Lech, Austria
The Princess of Wales with her two sons William (left) and Harry riding in a horse-drawn sleigh in 1994 (Martin Keene/PA)

The BBC vowed last month never to broadcast the interview again in the wake of the Dyson inquiry, which found journalist Martin Bashir had used “deceitful behaviour” to secure the scoop.

He faked bank statements which he showed to Diana’s brother Earl Spencer to gain access to the princess.

William and Harry, in separate statements, condemned the BBC for its treatment of their mother, with William saying the interview fuelled her “fear, paranoia and isolation”, and Harry saying “the ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life”.

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