Fans offer flowers and tears outside the Princess's palace to mark the sad day

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated August 31, 2005 01:25 PM

The death of Princess Diana – exactly eight years ago on Wednesday – was remembered by loyal fans who gathered outside her former home, London’s Kensington Palace.

Not far across town, Britain’s royal family planned no special observances, with sons Prince William and Prince Harry “going about their business as normal,” according to a spokesman at Clarence House, Prince Charles’s official residence, the Associated Press reports.

Diana, who was 36, died in a Paris traffic-tunnel crash on Aug. 31, 1997, along with boyfriend Dodi Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul. The only survivor was Diana’s bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, who was badly injured.

Outside Diana’s home, where she lived following her 1996 divorce from Charles, bouquets of roses, carnations and lilies were placed on the fence by dozens of people paying tribute to mark the sad anniversary. Attached were also messages from Australia, Argentina and the U.S.

Some of the mourners wiped tears from their eyes, and many vocally expressed how upset they are that this past April Charles married the former Camilla Parker Bowles – the woman Diana had blamed for the failure of her marriage.

One mourner, delivery driver Raymond Nurse, 44, told AP that Diana “is our queen of hearts. You never forget your queen of hearts. Camilla – they will forget her, she’s rubbish – but not our Diana.”

Nurse and his wife, Lisa, 37, are members of the Diana Circle, a group set up to honor her memory, and came bearing pink lilies and a photo of Diana. “We’ll be here next year and the year after that,” Nurse said.