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Diana Sunday, 1 March, 1998, 15:18 GMT
Remembering Diana
diana
Diana, Princess of Wales, earned a place in hearts around the world with her compassion for those in pain, suffering and grief. Hence, she became known by the name she herself suggested: Diana, Queen of Hearts.

Six months ago, on August 31, 1997, she died after the black Mercedes 280S in which she was a passenger, crashed in a four-lane underpass at Place de l'Alma in Paris.

The car crashed into one of the central pillars dividing the tunnel's two carriageways. Two of the four occupants, Diana's friend Dodi Fayed and the driver of the car, Henri Paul, died instantly. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, the only passenger wearing a seat belt, survived.

Diana
Diana suffered massive external and internal injuries. Three-and-a-half hours after the crash, at 04:00 local time, she died in the Pitie Salpetriere Hospital.

In this special report, BBC News takes a look at how Diana's death is still touching millions, continues to be a topic of intense discussion and conspiracy theories, has triggered off a multi-million dollar 'industry' and has dramatically changed the life of Britain's Royal Family.

Mourning Diana

Half a year has gone by since the death of Diana. When her death was announced, the world was shocked. The United Kingdom was gripped by an unprecedented outpouring of public grief and millions around the world shared the feeling of loss.

Some sceptics predicted that the public outburst would not last long. For now, they have been proved wrong, as millions are still grieving for the Princess.

Diana's funeral
Westminster Abbey, September 6, 1997
Remembering Diana on the Web

In the days immediately after Diana's death, Internet sites like the BBC News Diana Memorial site were inundated with e-mail from people expressing their grief and sending condolences - and e-mails are still coming in. Across the Web, dozens of Diana Web sites are springing up, cherishing her memory. Here, on the Net, Diana is truly the People's Princess.

The state of the investigation

Six months on, the investigation into what caused the accident, which killed Diana and her companions, has not finished yet. The BBC's correspondent in Paris, Hugh Schofield, looks at the state of the official investigation and asks: "Why did Diana die?".

The conspiracy theories

While the investigation drags on, the rumour mill is generating hundreds of "alternative" explanations of what "really" happened on that Sunday morning in Paris. The death of Diana and her companions has proved to be a fertile ground for conspiracy theories, especially on the Web.

Diana Coin
Yet another Diana memento
Selling Diana

"Selling Diana" is big business. Newspapers and magazines boost their circulation by putting Diana's picture on their front pages. Nearly every product featuring a picture of Diana is set to achieve good sales figures, whether it is a mug, T-shirt, coin, recording, or even a pack of flower seeds.

But now the British Patent Office is considering applications to register the likeness of the Princess of Wales, and slogans like "Princess of Hearts" as trademarks - all part of the battle for Diana's lucrative legacy.

The changing face of the Monarchy

Most affected by Diana's death, however, was the Royal Family. The two princes lost a mother. At the same time, the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the officials of the Royal Household were struggling to avert a public relations disaster and avoid serious damage to the future of the monarchy. The BBC's court correspondent, Paul Reynolds, looks at the changing face of the monarchy.

BBC News special report online:
Death of a Princess: Six months on...

Internet links:


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