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>> Prayers to mark the Tenth Anniversary of the death of
Diana Princess of Wales
In a heartfelt address, which he had written
himself, Harry - who was aged just 12 when Diana died - spoke of the deep sense
of loss that both he and his brother, Prince William, still felt, a decade on.
Despite the poignancy of the moment, his voice only momentarily appeared to
The service, at Guards’ Chapel, Wellington Barracks, central London, was also
marked by a powerful plea from the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, the Bishop of
London, who called for people to stop using Diana’s memory to score points.
“Let it end here,” he declared.
Harry, now 22, had confessed to onlookers during a rehearsal for the memorial
the previous day that he felt “really nervous” about delivering the address.
But there was no sign of any anxiety. He spoke eloquently and the words came
from the heart.
They had not been endlessly finessed. In front of a congregation of almost 500
people, including the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Prime Minister, and a
worldwide television audience, Harry spoke of his mother’s “unrivalled love of
life, laughter, fun and folly”.
“She was our guardian, friend and protector,” he said, as his brother, with whom
he had organised the service, looked on.
“She never once allowed her unfaltering love for us to go unspoken or
undemonstrated. She will always be remembered for her amazing public work. But
behind the media glare, to us, just two loving children, she was quite simply
the best mother in the world.”
He then added: “We would say that wouldn’t we. But we miss her. Put simply, she
made us and so many other people happy. May this be the way that she is
At Diana’s funeral, it was the tiny figure of Prince Harry, his fists tightly
clenched with emotion, as he walked behind his mother’s coffin, which reminded a
nation of grieving mourners that nothing they felt could be eclipsed by the pain
felt by her sons, then just two young boys.
It was Harry who again moved people to tears with the simple eloquence of his
His brother Prince William, 25, who was 15 at the time his mother died, sat in
the front pew next to the Queen as Harry spoke and listened intently.
He knew every word that Harry would say. And he agreed with every one of them.
Just moments before, William had delivered his own reading from the bible, from
St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, biting his lip at one point as he paused
William and Harry had entered chapel with their father, the Prince of Wales, the
Queen, dressed in vivid purple, and the Duke of Edinburgh.
They walked slowly up the aisle to the strains of Londonderry Air, passing prime
ministers past and present, celebrity guests including Sir Cliff Richard and Sir
Elton John, and friends and associates from the public and private life of the
The service was conducted by the Rev Patrick
Irwin, Chaplain to the Household Division. It included two prayers written for
the occasion by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, at the request
of William and Harry.
William, as a future King, sat with the Windsors.
Harry pointedly sat with the Spencers in a public show of unity between the two
The Bishop of London, a close friend of the Prince of Wales, delivered the
eulogy in the 60-minute service and said that it should mark the moment “we let
Diana rest in peace”.
He said: “It is easy to lose the real person in the image, to insist that all is
darkness or all is light. Still 10 years after her tragic death there are
regular reports of 'fury’ at this or that incident and the Princess’s memory is
used for scoring points. Let it end here.
“Let this service mark the point at which we let her rest in peace and dwell on
her memory with thanksgiving and compassion.”
His message was delivered with the blessings of Prince Charles and his two sons
whose public pleas for their mother to be allowed to rest in peace have been
ignored repeatedly by the very people who claimed to have loved her.
For William and Harry the music, played by the orchestra from the Royal Academy
of Music, of which Diana was the president, was especially evocative of life
with their mother.
They made their choices after listening to the music on their iPods and texting
The Vespers from Rachmaninov was what she used to play to them on car journeys.
The princes chose the Guards’ Chapel at
Wellington Barracks because it was the closest to a mother church for their
regiment, the Household Cavalry. They both wore their regimental ties.
It is also short walk from Buckingham Palace where, back in 1981, as a young
bride their mother kissed the Prince of Wales on the balcony in front of adoring
crowds who were to follow her for the rest of her short life.
Diana’s siblings Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes,
who helped William and Harry with arrangements, were there with the rest of the
Lady Sarah also gave a reading but Earl Spencer, who delivered his controversial
“blood family” eulogy at the funeral, did not.
Two Welsh Guards, in their distinctive red tunics, stood guard outside the
chapel. It was an emotional journey for them too. Colour Sergeant Carl Taylor
and Lance Sergeant Chris Traherne were pallbearers at Diana’s funeral.
The 60-minute service ended with I Vow To Thee My Country, which was Diana’s
She chose it for her wedding in St Paul’s Cathedral. They played it again at her
As the National Anthem began the sun began to shine for the first time.
Diana’s admirers, many of them still suspicious of the cause of her death, had
tied bouquets, poems and portraits to the gates of her former home at Kensington
Flowers also piled up at Althorp, Diana’s childhood home and final resting place,
which broke with tradition by opening to the public for the anniversary. A
service was held last night at the local church.
In Paris, above the Pont d’Alma tunnel where
Diana died, dozens of well-wishers from around the world came with flowers and
candles. They left messages on the Flame of Liberty- a gilded torch statue built
in 1987 to celebrate Franco-American friendship but adopted by Diana mourners
straight after her death.
William and Harry were pleased the service went so well - winning over some of
those who questioned whether it should have happened in the first place.
They will be even more pleased if the words of
the Bishop of London are heeded.