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Princess Diana: Inside her 'fortress' home full of memories where she spent her last years – Express





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grew to be one of the most popular members before her tragic death at the young age of just 36. Though the iconic legacy of and ’s mother has endured for decades since her passing, the final year of Lady Diana Spencer’s life was much more private than those spent by ’ side as the world watched. Twenty-five years on, Express.co.uk takes a look inside the royal residence Princess Diana lived in before the shocking news of her death shook the nation in 1997.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 marks 25 years since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
The mother of two lost her life in a car crash that occurred in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris, France.
Having been divorced from Prince Charles for almost one year to the day before her death, Diana – “the People’s Princess”, spent her final year navigating a more private life on her own.
Despite her marriage to Britain’s future king having ended, Diana continued to be “regarded as a member of the Royal Family”, according to their official website, royal.uk.
This meant that she was able to continue to live at the royal address that she had called home for many years prior to her separation.
READ MORE: Diana’s life in pictures: How the People’s Princess changed the world

Princess Diana in her study/ Kensington PalacePrincess DianaIn her final years, Lady Diana Spencer lived in Kensington Palace, located in the heart of the British capital.
She had lived there since 1981 when she married Prince Charles in a “fairy tale” July wedding ceremony.
The newlyweds moved into Apartments eight and nine which had been combined to create a lavish home set across three floors.
Despite being located in the central London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the sprawling property enjoys wrap-around views of the stunning landscaped gardens and acres of land which surround Diana’s former home.Princess Diana with Prince William and Harry on pianoPrince Charles, Prince William and Diana on sofaThe Princess of Wales remained at the Palace right up until her tragic death, having been very fond of the residence which is owned by Queen Elizabeth II.
With poignant memories including the birth of her two sons having taken place in her first few years there (1982 and 1984), it’s no surprise that Diana wanted to stay-put even after her very public divorce in 1996.
In fact, the famous Apartments eight and nine are known as the backdrop to many official pictures – especially those taken with Prince William and Harry..
These include one of them all sitting at the piano, and one of her and Charles posing with a baby William on their living room sofa.
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Princess Diana in her studyWhile little changed in terms of her actual address, Princess Diana’s life in Kensington Palace did undergo some major updates between August 1996 and 1997.
In addition to a complete overhaul of her iconic style, Diana drastically reduced the number of staff at her London home.
Her simplified living arrangement saw her staff reduced to a cleaner, cook, and dresser.
Paul Burrell became maître d’ of her private life, combining the roles of her personal assistant, driver, delivery boy, confidant, and even a shoulder to cry on, according to Vanity Fair
Diana even reduced her security and only used police protection while attending a public event.
Speaking to Vanity Fair, Paul Burrell explained that Diana would spend plenty of time in her study at Kensington Palace which he described as “her fortress”.
He said that every night she would write a “steady stream of heartfelt thank-you letters” there while listening to classical music.
Even Prince William and Harry, who were 15 and 12 years old in Diana’s final year, loved spending time there when they came home on weekends.
Mr Burrell recalled seeing Lady Diana Spencer in a flowing cotton skirt on her bicycle, speeding down the palace drive with the boys “pedalling furiously” behind her.
While it is unknown if anyone is currently living in Diana’s former home at Kensington Palace, Apartment 1A is currently the official residence of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children – though they are due to move to Windsor this summer.
The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duke and Duchess of Kent, and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent are also based in Kensington Palace’s royal apartments.
See today’s front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive.

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