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Saturday, 31 August, 2002, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
Palace vigil marks Diana anniversary
Woman at Kensington Palace
Flowers and poems have been left at Kensington Palace
People from across the UK are marking Saturday's fifth anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Overnight, a small group of people kept a vigil outside Kensington Palace, Diana's former London home, and many more turn up to pay their respects during the morning.

Up to 100 bouquets of flowers were left outside the gates of the palace, and pictures of the princess, balloons and Union Jack flags were pinned to the railings for the anniversary, some from as far afield as China.


It's nice to remember Diana, and this is our way of keeping that memory alive

Julie Cain

Meanwhile Diana's mother has marked the anniversary by attacking what she sees as the "commercialisation" of her daughter's death.

Frances Shand Kydd's comments came days after Diana's former bodyguard, retired police officer Ken Wharfe, 53, was criticised for writing a controversial book about her private life.

Relatives of the late princess were expected to be remembering her in their thoughts.

Royals remember

It was understood the princess would be named in prayers at Crathie Kirk at Balmoral in Scotland on Sunday - a most unusual event in the Church of Scotland.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are expected to be present, with the Prince of Wales. It was not known if Princes William and Harry will be there.

Ken Wharfe and Princess Diana
Diana's bodyguard has defended his book
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: "Members of the Royal Family will remember the princess privately in their own way over the weekend."

Meanwhile, Kensington Palace has developed into a shrine to the princess and many tourists have visited to read tributes.

One note to Diana read: "You needed no spin doctor because your love for ordinary people came from the heart."

Another said simply: "Miss you - thank you for caring."

'Keeping memories alive'

Julie Cain, 37, from Newcastle upon Tyne, a lifelong fan of Diana, was preparing to sleep outside the palace - a ritual she performs each year.

She said: "It's nice to remember Diana, and this is our way of keeping that memory alive.

Tributes
Fans say Diana had a gift with people
"She was a wonderful person and she had that gift of making you feel special when you talked to her, that's something the Queen Mother had as well.

"I think if she had lived she would have been wonderful for the monarchy."

Another who regularly leads the vigil is Terry Hutt, 67, a retired carpenter from Waltham Abbey in Essex, who was dressed in Union flag shorts and hat.

He said: "Diana brought a sparkle to the Royal Family and educated them in a way.

'Genuine'

"She was herself and said what she thought and a lot of people loved her for that.

"She was a genuine type of person who cared, and proved that time and time again."

Flowers were also laid outside Harrods department store, which is owned by Mohamed Al Fayed.

Flame of Liberty monument, Pars
Flowers were laid near the tunnel in Paris
His son Dodi died with Diana in the car crash in a Paris underpass on 31 August, 1997.

A memorial to the pair was placed in one of the store's windows to mark the anniversary.

The late princess's family home in Northamptonshire also attracted a steady trickle of well-wishers.

About 40 bouquets left at the main gates of Althorp House at Great Brington were taken to the island within the grounds where Diana was buried.

Her brother Earl Spencer said earlier this week he would commemorate the anniversary of his sister's death with a quiet day at home with family and friends.

Paris shrine

Estate spokesman David Fawkes said: "The house and grounds are closed. It's just a quiet family day."

In Paris, flowers, photos and candles were placed around the Flame of Liberty monument near the entrance to the tunnel where the fatal car crash took place.

The monument, which stands above the Pont de l'Alma tunnel, has become a shrine to Diana.

One British couple, visibly moved, stood at a distance from the dozens of visitors.

"Five years later, I'm still very sad," said Lisa Richardson, 36, from Dorset.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Navdip Dhariwal
"Her legacy continues to make a difference to the lives of many children"
Dickie Arbiter, ex Buckingham Palace press spokesman
"The grief was not whipped up by the media"
See also:

26 Jul 02 | England
18 Mar 02 | Entertainment
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