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Monday, August 31, 1998 Published at 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK


A year on - Diana remembered

Hundreds of tributes have been laid at Kensington Palace

Across the UK and in Paris, and elsewhere around the world, millions of people have been gathering to remember Diana, Princess of Wales a year after her death.

"She was an angel sent by God," said one man outside Kensington Palace.

Another said: "She is immortal. She will be remembered for 1,000 years."

BBC correspondent Betty Redondo gathers reactions from across the UK
A few of the comments on cards left at the gates were bitter.

"Used, abused and discarded by the royals and their cronies, may you rest in peace," read one note.

Another read: "Diana, you outclassed the royals in life and in death."

[ image: Following public pressure flags are flying at half-mast]
Following public pressure flags are flying at half-mast
Nonetheless BBC correspondents noted the crowds outside Kensington Palace and elsewhere were not as large as they were last year and the mood was calmer and more contemplative.

At least one woman thinks this is for the best.

"I think people should let her rest in peace. This should be the last thing," said 30 year-old Londoner Rowena Atik.

At Harrods hundreds gathered to see Mohamed al-Fayed's shrine to Diana and his son Dodi Fayed.

[ image: The Harrods shrine is 8ft high and made of bronze]
The Harrods shrine is 8ft high and made of bronze
Sharon Plant, from Redcar, said: "We couldn't come to the funeral last year so we decided we wanted to pay our respects today.

"We're going to go to Kensington Palace and lay flowers. I think it is a beautiful tribute. It just shows how much Mr al-Fayed loved both Dodi and Diana."

Three Chelsea Pensioners pay their respects to Diana
But Dorrie Mitzman said: "I think it's all a bit ostentatious. All the gilt and flowers are a bit showy and over the top.

"It was just a holiday romance - I don't think anything would have really come of it, but now it's being made out that they were some kind of Romeo and Juliet couple."

Thoughts on Diana: "She was like a best friend"
Doreen Hazel, from London, said: "I think it is a beautiful tribute. There is nothing at Kensington Palace or Buckingham Palace. It's like they're trying to forget Diana ever existed.

"People mock Mohamed al-Fayed but he is the only person who had provided the people with a beautiful memorial that you don't have to pay to see. It really has brought a tear to my eyes."

Dina Gilson, from Bristol, said: "I'm from Iraq originally and I wrote a verse from the Koran in the book of condolence. I think this is a wonderful memorial. You couldn't get any closer to how people feel about Diana and Dodi."

At Balmoral, where the Royal Family attended a private service, a small crowd gathered outside.

[ image: A woman leaves a floral tribute at Balmoral]
A woman leaves a floral tribute at Balmoral
"I feel disappointed for the royal family that more people aren't here," said Tim Bunday.

"Maybe people think it's more respectful not to be here today."

Brenda Whatt, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, said: "It's a private day for William and Harry and they are the ones that really count. On their way back from the church I saw the Queen Mother, Prince Charles and the Queen waving at us all."

"It would have been nice if they'd stopped," said Deborah Judd, from Bracknell, Berks, "but they have to grieve, they want to be left in peace and you can understand that, really."

At Althorp, a crowd gathered near the closed gates of the home where Diana is buried and left hundreds of floral tributes.

[ image: Emotional well-wishers lay flowers outside Althorp]
Emotional well-wishers lay flowers outside Althorp
In the two months since her burial place was opened to the public 150,000 people have passed through to pay their respects.

One couple interviewed had returned to the house every week since Diana's death.

Tony Stubbins, from Nottingham, said: "The anniversary really brings it back again. I still cannot quite believe it."

"Last year I was listening to the World Service when they said they were making a special announcement.

I thought it was going to be about the Queen or the Queen Mother. I could not believe it when they said it was Diana."

He was angered at not being able to enter to pay his respects on the site.

"What gives the right to keep her away from the public? Diana was the people's princess. She should be buried where people can pay their respects," he said.

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