Lady Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales, is killed in a car accident in Paris


Princess Diana

Sunday, 31 August 1997

On the 31 August 1997 Princess of Wales, Lady Diana Spencer, the former wife of Prince Charles, was killed with her companion Dodi Fayed in a car accident in Paris.  Her funeral was broadcast in South Africa by the SABC.

The Funeral Speech (Eulogy) to Diana Princess of Wales was given by her brother Earl Charles Spencer, who lives in South Africa. Princess Diana had come to visit him in South Africa in March 1997. She met former South African President Nelson Mandela during this time.

Princess Diana was, best known for her charitable work - notably publicising work on behalf of people with HIV/Aids, the plight of the homeless, the isolation of lepers, and the random destruction of landmines.

On 2 November 2002, Nelson Mandela announced that the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund was planning to join the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund to help South Africans with HIV/AIDS and their families and to assist children orphaned by the disease. "Caring for people who are dying and helping the bereaved was something for which Princess Diana had passion and commitment," Mandela said at a London press conference.

"When she stroked the limbs of someone with leprosy, or sat on the bed of a man with HIV/AIDS and held his hand, she transformed public attitudes and improved the life chances of such people," Mandela said about the late Princess. "People felt if a British princess can go to a ward with HIV patients, then there's nothing to be superstitious about."

After the announcement, Mandela visited Diana's family home and placed a wreath on her grave.

• Jeff Trussell,' Princess Diana ', [online],Available at [Accessed: 20 August 2013]
• presentationmagazine,'Eulogy to Princess Diana by Earl Charles Spencer'. [online] Available at [Accessed: 20 August 2013]  

Last updated : 20-Aug-2013

This article was produced for South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011