A royal appearance

PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE WILLIAM AND PRINCE HARRY VIEWING FLORAL TRIBUTES AFTER DEATH OF PRINCESS DIANA, KENSINGTON PALACE, LONDON, BRITAIN - 1997Shutterstock

The royal family—including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, 15-year-old Prince William, and 12-year-old Prince Harry—were in Balmoral, Scotland, when they heard the news about Princess Diana’s death. The royal family stayed there and were criticized for failing to fly a flag at half-mast in London’s Buckingham Palace (it’s custom for no flag to be flown when the queen is out of town) or giving anything more than a brief statement of sorrow. It wasn’t until five days after Diana’s death that Diana’s grieving sons and ex-husband publicly faced the mourners at Kensington Palace. “It was amazing; it was incredibly moving to know, but at that point, I wasn’t there. I was still in shock,” Prince Harry said in a 2017 interview.

Worth the wait

People Still Gathering To Mourn The Death Of Diana Princess Of Wales Outside Kensington Palace Four Days After Her Funeral.David Crump/Daily Mail/Shutterstock

As crowds got bigger, London set up orderly queues. At times it took 6.5 hours to reach the gates of St. James’s Palace, where grievers could leave flowers and sign the books of condolences that were eventually moved to Kensington Palace. These are the things William and Harry inherited from Princess Diana.

Bouquets and beyond

Death Of The Princess Of Wales. Scenes At Kensington Palace Day After Princess Diana's FuneralMike Floyd/Daily Mail/Shutterstock

Aside from the flowers, admirers also left stuffed animals, hand-written notes, and original poems in the late princess’s honor. “I will miss your poise, your compassion and most of all your ability to be yourself and do what you believe in,” wrote one visitor.