"This was a special person, and not just a beautiful one," says Charles Spencer

By Simon Perry
June 29, 2017 11:36 AM

A collection of “exceptional voices” will celebrate the life and legacy of Princess Diana in an upcoming TV event from PEOPLE and ABC, it was announced on Thursday.

Diana’s brother Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, along with some of her close friends and others who knew her, are among those providing their reflections for The Story of Diana, a four-hour special airing on ABC on August 9 and 10.

“One of the reasons I wanted to talk now is because I think after 20 years, somebody shifts from being a contemporary person to one of history, actually,” Spencer explains in a clip released today. “And Diana deserves a place in history. This was a special person, and not just a beautiful one.”

Tim Graham/Getty Images

Diana’s friends Sir Richard Branson, Dr. James Colthurst, Vivienne Parry and Wayne Sleep will share their reminiscences as well, along with former palace staffers Mervyn Wycherley and Colin Tebbutt. Her wedding dress designer Elizabeth Emanuel and bridesmaid India Hicks also contribute.

Jerry White, who traveled with Diana on one of her groundbreaking anti-landmine missions, and Tessy Ojo, CEO of the Diana Award, underline how her legacy continues to this day, while Jess Cagle, Editor-in-Chief of PEOPLE, and ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas talk about the woman who was so loved around the world.

Diana appeared on the cover of PEOPLE a record-breaking 57 times. August 31 will mark the 20th anniversary of her death in a Paris car crash.

On July 1, the day that would have been her 56th birthday, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, along with Princess Kate and children George and Charlotte, will be joined by the Spencer family at a re-dedication of her resting place on the Oval Lake at the family home, Althorp House.

The Story of Diana: Part One airs on August 9 at 9 p.m. EDT and The Story of Diana: Part Two on August 10 at 9 p.m. EDT.