The most striking thing about today's Diana memorial is the lack of mourners

Ben Kelly@BenKellyTweets
Thursday 31 August 2017 13:00
news

Outside Kensington Palace today, people have been gathering to remember Princess Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death - but after a quick look around, it's appears that the majority of those present are from the media.

Broadcasters from as far away as the US, Australia and Japan have pitched up alongside the BBC and Sky, but the media buzz itself is really the only story to be covered on the small patch of lawn outside the palace. Journalists have obviously gathered to mark what looks like a big anniversary on paper, but in reality it seems most people are letting today pass by without any real sense of occasion.

The palace gates were where, in 1997, that iconic sea of flowers and candles could be seen - but there was no immediate outpouring of grief today. People were passing, and pausing briefly, before going on their way - the mood was pleasant. Some people did leave flowers, but only a few dozen were to be seen.

While there were about 100 people milling around, the turn over was quick, and a closer look revealed that almost every mourner was being spoken to by a journalist of some sort. One passing woman scorned that the "paparazzi still can't leave the woman alone".

The people who had made the effort were largely tourists. An Australian couple we spoke to said they had only come after seeing it on the news that morning, and two sisters from the Netherlands - while both admirers of Diana - were only there because they happened to be in town this week.

Overall, it was hard to find many British people in the vicinity, and those who were waved away any media requests. The kind of tearful, personal tributes we remember people offering to TV cameras in 1997 were not, it seemed, on display today.

More: Princess Diana opened up to George Michael in a secret phone call he recorded

Trending