Floral tributes pour in at Kensington Palace as Princess Diana is remembered 15 years on from her deathDuke and Duchess of Cambridge set to visit Singapore's Botanical Gardens where they will see Diana's orchid – and have their own flower named in their honour
18:28 GMT, 31 August 2012
The gates of Kensington Palace disappeared under a growing collection of notes, photographs and bouquets this morning as mourners arrived to pay tribute to Princess Diana on the 15th anniversary of her death.
Diana, who died in a car accident in a Paris underpass along with her lover Dodi Fayed, would be 51 years old had she survived the crash in 1997.
The messages and floral tributes were a poignant reminder of the scenes at Kensington Palace in the days following her death, when a sea of bouquets grew rapidly outside the wrought iron gates.
Condolence: Mourners left flowers, flags, notes and photographs on the gates of Kensington Palace today, 15 years after Princess Diana was killed in a car crash
The people's princess: It was clear by the sheer number of messages outside the Palace today that Diana touched the hearts of many
Tears of a clown: An eccentrically dressed mourner inspects the notes of condolence fixed to the fences outside the Palace today
Eventually, thousands of floral tributes stretched the entire length and breadth of the path leading up to Diana's former home.
Radiant: Diana pictured at a charity event three months before she died
Although there were echoes of that day 15 years ago, the Palace, now home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they are in London, was today a calmer and more contemplative place.
There was no official ceremony planned to mark the day, and William and Harry were expected to spend the day away from the public eye.
As he mourns the loss of his beloved mother, the Duke of Cambridge is preparing for a trip to Singapore where he will see for the first time an orchid named in Diana's honour.
The Dendrobium Memoria Princess Diana orchid, which grows in Singapore's Botanical Gardens, was named in the princess's honour in September 1997, the month after she died.
As part of the visit William and Kate will have their own orchid named in their honour, which will join Diana's orchid in the VIP area of the Gardens.
Harry, who was 12 when he lost his
mother, said five years ago at an official Thanksgiving service held in
her honour said that his mother's death was 'indescribably shocking and
sad', and changed his life and that of his brother forever.
The Dendrobium memoria Princess Diana orchid at the Singapore Botanical
Gardens, named in memory of Diana in September 1997
William said the day he really felt his mother's
loss was on his wedding day. 'I think she would have loved the day and I
think, hopefully, she’d be very proud of us both,' he said. RIGHT:
Prince Harry, photographed here at a Service of Thanksgiving for the
life of his mother, would have made his Diana proud
Early years: Diana and Charles with a baby William
Tragic: Diana on holiday with Dodi Fayed in St Tropez days before both were killed in a car accident in Paris
Tireless campaigner: Diana, pictured in 1997 walking near a mine field in Angola, will be forever remembered for her charity work. 'All I am trying to do is help,' she said of her call for a total ban on landmines
'When she was alive we completely took for granted her unrivalled love of life, laughter, fun and folly.
'We both think of her every day. We speak about her and laugh together at all the memories,' he said.
Later this year a biopic of the late Princess's life is set to be released starring Naomi Watts as Diana.
The actress has been seen in the grounds of Kensington Palace and at various locations across London as she and the cast members recreate key moments in Diana's life.
Most recently Watts was spotted dressed in a distinctive blue blazer similar to those Diana used to wear, surrounded by a swarm of paparazzi photographers.
LEFT: Naomi Watts between takes on set for the film Diana, wearing a
blue blazer as part of her Diana costume (with her own trousers and
shoes. RIGHT: Diana in the double-breasted blazer she often wore
Flashback: Naomi Watts filming a scene from the forthcoming film Diana, which sees the star recreate the all-too familiar moments where Diana was followed by hoards of paparazzi photographers
The Oscar-nominated actress has said of her controversial new role: ‘She is a part of our history, an incredible woman and fascinating but a tragic ending.
'The film-makers came to me and it’s a good script and it’s very scary and I kind of wanted to say “no””but I couldn’t.'
Miss Watts moved to London’s Kensington to prepare for the role and was said to have visited Diana’s favourite places – such as The Harbour Club, a sports club on the King's Road – and Knightsbridge's Beauchamp Place – as part of the preparations to get into character.
In 1997: A sea of tributes covered the path outside Kensington Palace after Diana's death 15 years ago. Today, a smaller number of bouquets was left to mark the anniversary
Remembered: Mourners pin notes, photographs and bouquets on the gates of Kensington Palace after her death in 1997
DIANA: MOURNING THE LOSS OF A MOTHER, WARM-HEARTED CHARITY CAMPAIGNER AND STYLE ICON
Not only did Diana leave behind two fine and much admired sons who would have made their mother proud (she would no doubt have offered Harry unswerving support during monets such as last week's Vegas antics), but her legacy lives on thanks to her outstanding contribution to the charities with which she worked.
Diana was one of the first high profile people to be photographed embracing HIV and AIDS patients, helping to remove the stigma attached to the disease.
Her tireless work with AIDS organisations and children's charities leaves a lasting legacy, while the Diana Memorial Fund set up in her memory has raised 100m to date.
1989: Diana dressed in Catherine Walker for a night at the Coliseum to watch Swan Lake
1996: At a charity dinner in Washington wearing Catherine Walker leaver lace gown
1997: At a charity event in April, just four months before the accident that took her life
1994: In a black cocktail dress and pearls for a London Fashion Week event
1995: At a Chelsea charity event, sapphire engagement ring on her hand
1991: In a Catherine Walker tuxedo suit at Salisbury Cathedral