PRINCESS Diana’s heartbreaking funeral took place today 26 years ago and was watched by millions around the globe.
The late royal mum-of-two’s powerful legacy remains as strong as ever today – through all the lives that she touched and her two beloved sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Diana’s sons, along with their wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, often pay tribute to the popular royal at poignant events using small, secret signs.
Unless you are an eagle-eyed fan, you may not realise many of the touching ways the family keeps Diana in the forefront of their minds.
Here are some of the hidden secrets ways Diana’s legacy lives on…
During the Queen’s mourning period last year, Prince William was seen wearing a touching tribute to his late mother on his wrist.
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The Prince of Wales frequently sports his Omega Seamaster watch for important occasions and it has a lot of sentimental value.
The watch has emotional ties for Prince William as it was gifted to him by Princess Diana when he was studying at Eton College as a teen.
It is the Quartz 300m Mid-Size, and he also wore it for his wedding to Kate in 2011.
It features a stainless steel wristband and the dial is covered with sapphire crystal.
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Prince William also chose it for when he met Beyoncé and Jay-Z with Kate as they visited a Brooklyn Nets game during a 2014 US trip.
Prince Harry has been wearing the same bracelet for 23 years and there's a very emotional story behind it.
It's believed the Duke of Sussex acquired the black and brown silver bracelet during a trip to Africa, shortly after his mum, Princess Diana, passed away in August 1997.
In a past interview, Harry revealed he first visited Africa after his mother died.
"I first came [to Africa] in 1997, straight after my mum died," he explained.
"My dad told my brother and me to pack our bags — we were going to Africa to get away from it all."
Kate’s jewellery including THAT engagement ring
Princess Diana had one of the most impressive jewellery boxes filled with diamonds and Kate Middleton has been lucky enough to inherit many of the pieces.
Before her death, Diana wrote a “letter of wishes”, which explained what she would like to happen to her glittering collection in the future.
It stated: “I would like you to allocate all my jewellery to the share to be held by my sons, so that their wives may, in due course, have it or use it.
“I leave the exact division of the jewellery to your discretion."
And Kate often pays tribute to Diana during large public engagements, including at King Charles’ coronation in May.
The Princess of Wales wore pearl and diamond earrings that belonged to the late royal.
Princess Diana married the then-Prince Charles in 1981, but they separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.
Kate also famously wears the People’s Princess’ iconic sapphire engagement ring, which is believed to be worth a staggering £300,000.
In the Amazon Prime documentary “The Diana Story”, Princess Di’s former butler Paul Burrell confirmed that the ring had belonged to Prince Harry but he selflessly sacrificed this to let William use it for Kate.
Kate has also donned a number of tiaras worn by Diana, including the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara, and wore Diana’s earrings for Trooping the Colour this year.
Meghan’s bracelet during bombshell Oprah chat
Both Kate and Meghan have worn precious jewels previously owned by their late mum-in-law – which is exactly as Diana would have wanted.
And Prince Harry’s wife opted to wear Diana’s sparkling £17,700 Cartier tennis bracelet for her bombshell Oprah Winfrey chat.
She also donned a £1,400 Aquamarine Collette Pendant Cord Necklace from sustainable designer Pippa Small, and a £5,000 Cartier love bracelet, which is believed to have been a present from Harry.
This brought Meghan’s jewellery up to a staggering £24,100, and was in addition to her £3,600 Armani gown and £535 Aquazurra heels.
Prince Harry has previously stated how Meghan visited Diana’s grave last year, and put her “palms flat against the stone” and asked for “guidance”.
Retraces her steps
Princess Diana was known for championing numerous charities and good causes, and Harry and William will often retrace her steps with their own philanthropy.
During Prince Harry’s 2019 Africa tour, he walked through a minefield, mirroring the famous photo of the People's Princess taken in Africa just months before her tragic death in 1997.
Judi James told Fabulous that Prince Harry tried to “suppress his emotions” during the “poignant” engagement.
Speaking before the event, Sam Cohen, Harry’s private secretary, said: “In a particularly significant and poignant journey, the Duke of Sussex will have the opportunity to return to Angola to see first-hand the legacy of his mother.”
Kate’s mirroring outfits
Kate is known as being one of the most fashionable women in Britain, but often takes style inspiration from her late mother-in-law.
Last year, Kate wowed onlookers at Royal Ascot as she arrived in a stunning polka dot dress that was remarkably similar to one worn by Diana.
Princess Diana wore a similar outfit to Ascot in 1988.
Princess Diana's white dress with black polka dots sat on her knee and she wore a matching polka dot hat.
Meanwhile, when Prince Louis was born in 2018, Kate donned a red dress that was the spitting image of the frock Diana wore following the birth of Prince Harry in 1984.
Mother’s Day cards
Aside from subtle tributes, William and Harry ensure they keep Diana’s legacy going within their own families.
Royal fans were moved as Princess Charlotte and Princes George and Louis wrote touching Mothers' Day cards to 'Granny Diana' in 2021, which were shared online.
In a heartbreaking note, written on green paper, Prince George wrote: "Dear Granny Diana. Happy Mother's Day. I love you very much and think of you always.
"Sending lots of love from George."
Meanwhile Princess Charlotte wrote in a pink card with a colourful heart drawn on the front: "Dear Granny Diana. I am thinking of you on Mother's Day.
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"I love you very much. Papa is missing you.
"Lots of love Charlotte. xxx."
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