Little Known Facts About Diana, Princess of Wales
Little Known Facts About Diana, Princess of Wales

Little Known Facts About Diana, Princess of Wales

Shannon Quinn - January 7, 2021

Little Known Facts About Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana’s funeral took place at Westminster Abbey. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Princess Diana’s Funeral at Westminster Abbey Broke Royal Protocol

Princess Diana’s funeral was held at Westminster Abbey. Technically, the protocol was that she should not have been able to have her funeral there, even though she was the princess for several years, and gave birth to future kings. Normally, Westminster Abbey is reserved for members of the royal family. At the time of her death, Diana had divorced Prince Charles, so she was no longer a member of the family. But Charles chose to break the rules in order to honor her with a funeral fit for a princess. For the first time in history, the Union Jack flag was flown at half-mast at Buckingham Palace. Her body was flown on a royal flight, and her coffin was draped in a Royal Standard flag.

However, many believe this was more of a publicity stunt to gain favor with the public, rather than something Charles did out of respect for his ex-wife and the mother of his children. The public loved Princess Diana, and they sided with her over the Queen. Also, with all of the conspiracy theories and rumors floating around that the royal family was to blame for her death, it would have made the royals look even worse if they banished her to a commoner’s funeral. At the end of the day, everyone seemed to agree that she deserved the beautiful funeral that was given to her.

Little Known Facts About Diana, Princess of Wales
The hit single “Candle in the Wind”. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Elton John Sang “Candle in the Wind” in Memory of Princess Diana, But it was Originally About Marilyn Monroe

Some of you out there may have heard that Elton John wrote “Candle in the Wind” in honor of Princess Diana, since he sang it at her funeral in 1997. Well, that’s not quite right. Originally, the song was written for Marilyn Monroe, but he rewrote the same song to fit Princess Diana. The lyrics begin “Goodbye, England’s Rose,” instead of “Goodbye, Norma Jean.” This song became the largest selling single in 1997, and it played on the radio throughout the world, making the Marilyn Monroe version practically forgotten, unless you were a music nerd.

Princess Diana was actually friends with Elton John. The single sold 9 million copies. Instead of keeping the money, Elton John honored her memory by donating it all to the Dianna Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. During an interview with Oprah, Elton said that during the funeral, he had to stay professional and composed to get through the song. But when he got home and watched back the tape, he broke down in tears. He swore to never sing the Princess Diana version live again, because it’s far too painful.

Little Known Facts About Diana, Princess of Wales
The Queen standing in the pile of flowers in front of the palace. Credit: Alamy

2. The Entire Country Mourned, and Created Public Tributes to Diana

When Princess Diana died in 1997, the whole world mourned. Even as a child in the United States, I still remember when she died. But of course, nowhere on Earth was in deeper mourning than the United Kingdom. There were huge public tributes to Princess Diana all throughout London. Thousands of bouquets of flowers lined up along the front lawn of Kensington Palace. The pile of flowers outside of Buckingham Palace was so huge, it was 5 feet deep. Throughout London, there were other small shrines set up in her memory.

Prince Harry, who was 12 at the time, talked about what that was like in a documentary called Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, which is available on HBO. “It was very, very strange after her death, the sort of outpouring of love and emotion from so many people that had never even met her.”Today, people still leave flowers at the gates of Buckingham and Kensington Palace on the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, even though over 23 years have passed.

Little Known Facts About Diana, Princess of Wales
Kensington Palace. Credit: Shutterstock

1. There Will Be a Princess Diana Statue at Kensington Palace

After Princess Diana’s death, her sons Prince William and Harry took over the Princess Diana Memorial Foundation in Hyde Park. If you have ever visited England, you already know that there are statues of kings and queens in public parks and in front of palaces throughout the country. Since Diana was no longer a princess when she died, one was never made of her. William and Harry began planning the commission for the statue back in 2017, on the 20-year anniversary of her death.

The statue is currently scheduled to be erected on On July 1, 2021, where it will be placed in front of Kensington Palace. There is already a grand statue of Queen Victoria standing in front of the palace, since it was her former home. Now, finally, Diana can also be memorialized in the same way. During a press release, the princes said, “Our mother touched so many lives. We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.” Just like her funeral in Westminster Abbey, this surely goes against royal protocol. But the Queen has reportedly said that she fully supports this endeavor.

 

Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

Facts About Princess Diana We Just Learned That Made Us Say “Really?”. Ranker. Mallory Weiler. 2020.

Princess Diana: Her Life and Mysterious Death. Biographics. Simon Whistler & Shannon Quinn. 2018

Many Lives, Many Masters. Dr. Brain Weiss. 1988

The Crown Season 4 Facts and Fiction: What it Gets Right and Wrong About Princess Diana. Gael Fashingbauer Cooper.

Candle In The Wind: Elton John’s Tribute To Marilyn Monroe And Princess Di. Groovy History. 2020

Elton John Opens Up About Coping with Princess Diana’s Death. The Oprah Winfrey Show. 1997

Former Royal Chef Reveals Princess Diana’s Fave Meal And What It Was Really Like Cooking For Her. Delish. 2020

Why the Princess Diana Engagement Ring Was Controversial. Brides Magazine. Christina Oehler. 2020

Princess Diana statue to be installed to mark her 60th birthday. BBC. 2020

Inside Michael Jackson’s Close Friendship With Princess Diana. Biography. 2019.

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