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Sunday, August 30, 1998 Published at 04:06 GMT 05:06 UK


Commemorating Diana

Flowers threaded into the gates of Buckingham Palace last year

Mourners from around the globe have arrived in London to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Flowers have been laid outside the princess's former home, Kensington Palace, as well as poems and toys.

Although the tributes cannot compete in volume with those left in the immediate aftermath of the fatal car crash, many say they still feel emotional about the anniversary.

[ image: Flowers are being laid again - but the mood is more subdued]
Flowers are being laid again - but the mood is more subdued
Mother and daughter Sheila and Amy Lanza, from Welwyn Garden City, in Hertfordshire, came to the palace early to avoid the crowds on Monday.

"It was Amy's idea," said mother Sheila, 28. "She was only five when Diana died but loved watching her on the television."

Amy, now aged six, explained her love for the princess stemmed from "her really pretty dresses".

Royal correspondent Jennie Bond reports on how the anniversary is being marked
Other have travelled from as far afield as New Zealand and America.

Heather Pritchard, from Arizona, said: "Last year it was all so unreal - now I know it's real and it hurts more than ever."

Diana Tanner, from Olympia in Washington state, USA, said Diana had influenced her life.

Mentor and inspiration

"I worked with teenage girls, battered women and victims of sexual assault.

[ image: The Royal Family will be joined by the Blairs at Crathie church, near Balmoral]
The Royal Family will be joined by the Blairs at Crathie church, near Balmoral
"Diana was an amazing mentor and inspiration," she said.

Two brothers from Munich, Thomas Buettner, 36, and Oliver, 27, laid red roses at the gates. "There is a special feeling today but no logical reason behind it," they said.

But not everyone appreciated the displays of grief, even though they are somewhat muted compared with those seen 12 months ago.

A 70-year-old woman from London said: "It's ghoulish. Look at all these flowers - how many of these people last visited their own dead relatives to put flowers on their graves?"

The woman, who was afraid to be named because her opinion was "different than most other people's", added: "Look at the starving in Uganda, shouldn't they be spending their money on those people instead?"

[ image: Flanked by the Princes last year - but her brother Earl Spencer will not be with them for the anniversary]
Flanked by the Princes last year - but her brother Earl Spencer will not be with them for the anniversary
The Queen has called for low key commemorations.

Flags are being flown at half mast and the princess's sons William, 16, and Harry, 13, will spend the weekend at Balmoral with their father.

The royal family is due to attend its normal Sunday service at Crathie church, near Balmoral. There will be a special service at the church on Monday, the anniversary of Diana's death.

They will be accompanied by Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.

At Althorp, the princess's childhood home where she has been laid to rest on an island, the Spencers will hold a private service in the grounds.

[ image: The ticket-holding public's last chance to visit Althorp is on Sunday]
The ticket-holding public's last chance to visit Althorp is on Sunday
Sunday is also the last day for the public to visit Diana's grave at the Spencer family home in Northamptonshire,

Later in the day a service in memory of Diana will be held in Westminster Cathedral. The catholic cathedral will remain open until 11pm for private prayer and reflection.

Meanwhile, Mohamed al-Fayed, whose son Dodi died in the same crash as the Princess, will attend a private memorial service at his tomb in the grounds of the family home at Oxted, Surrey.

Later Mr al-Fayed will go to Harrods to be with members of staff and to thank customers for their kindness and condolences.

A permanent memorial to the couple will be unveiled at the store to replace the shrine set up temporarily a year ago.

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