Some 2.5 billion viewers in 187 countries around the world watched the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales on television in September 1997. In London, hundreds of thousands of mourners lined the streets - one of the largest crowds in London, said, since the end of World War II. It was, 'The Washington Post' noted, "a day for grieving, and it capped a week-long outpouring of emotion that exposed a side of Britain the world has rarely seen."

In death, as in life, the History channel observed, "Diana remained a cultural icon and a continual source of fascination to the media and entertainment world." On July 29, 1981, Diana married Prince Charles in a wedding watched by some 750 million people in 50 countries around the world. As Diana became involved in the official duties of the Royal family, the BBC added, "The public singled her out for public affection." Her popularity afforded Diana the opportunity to shift the focus of worldwide attention to causes she supported such as banning land mines. 

"Diana seemed the perfect symbol to usher British culture from the undisciplined 1970s into the conservative 1980s," the 'Philadelphia Inquirer' expressed. "Her public life made headlines. Her private life made even more. Diana had captured the entire world's attention." That attention made Diana "one of the most famous, most photographed people on the planet. Readers hungry for news about their favorite Royal devoured stories about her fleeting romances, her ugly eating disorders, her hairstyles, her clothes. No detail was too small for dissection."

However despite her storybook 1981 wedding, despite the riches and fame that came with being the future Queen of England, Diana never found her happily-ever-after. "So much for fairy tales," the 'Philadelphia Inquirer' continued. By December 1995, Queen Elizabeth II urged Prince Charles and Diana to divorce after Diana chose the night marking Her Majesty The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's 48th wedding anniversary to tell 23 million Britons on the 'Panorama' program and later that same week 36 million American viewers on the 'Turning Point' program about the breakdown of her fairy-tale marriage.

In the interview, Diana conceded, "We had struggled to keep it going, but obviously we'd both run out of steam … Here was a situation which hadn't ever happened before in history in the sense that the media were everywhere. And here was a fairy story that everybody wanted to work ... What had been hidden - or rather what we thought had been hidden - then became out in the open and was spoken about on a daily basis, and the pressure was for us to sort ourselves out in some way."

Diana also told her supporters, "I'm sure many, many people doubt me. And I want to reassure all those people ... that I'd never let them down. The people that matter to me - the man on the street. I'll fight to the end, because I believe that I have a role to fulfil." One Royal watcher remarked, "Nothing like this has happened before. Nothing like this has happened since." Another added, "For a member of the Royal family - albeit an estranged one - the appearance was a shocking departure, unparalleled in its frankness and intimacy. Compared to the uproar it caused, wrote 'The Times', 'the 1936 abdication was a garden party.'"

Diana and Prince Charles officially divorced on August 28, 1996 bringing the fairy tale to an end. The Prime Minister at the time reassured Diana she could still play an important role in British diplomacy. On June 3, 1997, Diana was invited as the Royal Guest of Honor, at the Royal Gala Performance of Derek Deane's ballet 'Swan Lake'. However it was not the performance of 'Swan Lake' at the Royal Albert Hall which made the headlines but the ice blue Jacques Azagury dress Diana wore.

The 53.02 carats of diamonds and South Sea pearls necklace Diana worn together with a pair of matching diamond and pearl drop earrings created by Crown Jeweler Garrard specifically for Diana, first sold to a Ukrainian couple in 2010 for $100,000 at a Guernsey's New York auction. It was updated in March 2017 that the 'Swan Lake Suite' had been sold for $500,000 to an American couple. After the performance, 'People Weekly' reported, "Diana – who was a patron of the English National Ballet – greeted dancers backstage."

Before her death when the armour-proofed, chauffeur-driven Mercedes S-280 sedan Diana was photographed traveling in after leaving the Ritz Hotel, crashed into a pillar in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, near the mouth of the river Seine, Diana was photographed beaming with delight wearing a leopard print swimsuit, swimming in the glowing blue waters of Saint Tropez and cruising aboard the luxury yacht, Jonikal, on the French Riviera and Sardinian coast.

'The Guardian' reported at the time, "After the accident (12.25am local time) there was a news blackout regarding the Princess's condition, but the situation worsened as the night wore on leading to reports of her death at 5am (London time) this morning. American tourists Tom Richardson and Joanna Luz were among the first on the scene of the accident. They told CNN that they were walking nearby when they heard the crash and ran into the tunnel.

"Mr Richardson, from San Diego, said: 'There was smoke. I think the car hit a wall. A man started running towards us telling us to go.' Miss Luz said: 'The horn was sounding for about 2 minutes. I think it was the driver against the steering wheel. There was a photographer (Romuald Rat of the Gamma agency) on the scene within 5 seconds of the crash happening. As we were running out of the tunnel police and others were running in, but it took around 5 or 7 minutes for them to get there.'"

The 'Today' show recalled, "As word spreads of Princess Diana's death, tears, and an overwhelming outpouring of grief overtakes Britain." ''Newsweek' described Diana as "a tireless advocate for those who needed her most. In total, 71 countries had land mines at the time she visited Angola in 1997 to bring awareness to the human toll land mines were taking."

In June 1996, Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Diana at the White House before the much talked-about American Red Cross fund-raiser in Washington to aid land-mine victims around the world. Diana had represented some 100 charities. "We're wasting our time talking about her merely being a Royal," David Starkey told CBS News. "She's up there in the heavens, somewhere with James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Princess Grace and Jack Kennedy."

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