On day of her 50th, fans gather to remember Diana

Admirers of the late Princess Diana gathered outside Kensington Palace to celebrate the royal`s 50th birthday.

London: Admirers of the late Princess Diana
gathered outside Kensington Palace on Frida, a bright sunny day
that would have been the troubled royal`s 50th birthday.

Cards, a cake, a collage and other mementos were among
the gifts left at the gates of Kensington Palace, where Diana
once lived an echo of the massive, makeshift memorial set up
there following her 1997 death in a Paris car crash.
"She would`ve been so popular still. Everyone would
have been here to help celebrate," said Kathy Martin, a
49-year-old childcare worker from Australia. "We`ll never get
to see her grow old."

Martin was one of several hardcore Diana loyalists at
the gates a testament to the hold the princess still has on
many fans. They were joined by passers-by, tourists and other
admirers, many of whom left cards.
Although her public image was the "People`s Princess,"
Diana died at a time of turmoil in her life. A discreet and
lengthy romance with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan had recently
ended; her relationship with wealthy playboy Dodi Fayed, who
died with her in the accident, was less than two months old.

Martin said it was probably because Diana died young at only 36 that she and others were still so drawn to her

"Marilyn Monroe was an icon, Grace Kelly was an icon,
and Princess Diana was an icon," she said. "They all died
young. They`ll be remembered as princesses beautiful, radiant,

John Loughrey, a 56-year-old who attends just about
every Diana-themed event, was the man behind the custom-made
cake bearing her name in pink. He said Diana was "just like a

"The press followed her everywhere and the people
followed her everywhere," he said. "Diana`s still here in

Bureau Report

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