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The speech of Dianas brother

I am speaking to you today as a representative of a family in pain, in a counrty that is grieving, before a world which stands under shock. We are all joined together, not only in the wish to show Diana a final honour, but much more in the neccesity to do this. Because she possessed such an extraordinary appeal so many millions of people who are taking part in this ceremony worldwide through TV and radio broadcasts who never met her personally, share the feeling that they too lost a person in the early morning hours of last Sunday who was close to them. This is a greater sign of recognition for Diana than I could ever possibly give her today.

Diana was the embodiment of participation, duty, style and beauty. Over all the world she was seen as a symbol of self-giving humanity, as a fighter fot the rights of the oppressed, as a true British girl who crossed over the borders of nationality, as a woman from noble birth who belonged to no class in society and who in the last year proved, that she didn't need a royal title to also continue developing her special magic.

Today we have the opportunity to be grateful for the light that you brought into our lives, even though God only granted you half a life-time. We will all feel betrayed as you were taken from us at such a young age, and so we must then learn to be thankful that you had even existed. Only now that you have gone do we really recognise what we have lost, and we would like you to know that it is very, very difficult to live without you. In the past week we were all desperate over our loss, and only through the strength of the message which you have shown us over the years through your giving, did we find the strength to carry on. There is a strong call for your memory to be made holy. Yet there is no need to do that. As a person with unique characteristics you were so great that there is no necessity to see you as a saint. On the contrary, in order to preserve your memory we must go straight to the centre of your being, to your wonderful mischievious sense of humor, the way in which you could double over from laughing, your love of life which you could convey to others through your smile, and also from the sparkle of each unforgettable eye, your unstoppable energy which you could hardly hold back. Your greatest gift was your intuition and you used it wisely. It formed the foundations of all your wonderful qualities. And if we now attempt to fathom where your appeal lay for so many people, we find the answer in the fact that you had an instinctive feeling for that what is really important in all our lives. Your God-given empathy drew our attention to the anguish of AIDS and HIV sufferes, the needs of the homeless, the isolation of leprosy sufferers, the indiscriminate destruction caused by landmines. Diana once told me that her connection to her choice of outcasts was first made possible through the feeling of suffering that she bore deep inside her. And here we meet a further insight into her character. Inspite of her appearance in society, her glamour and expression, her whole life long Diana remained at the centre of her heart, a very insecure person, almost childish in her wish to do good for others in order to free herself from the deeply embedded feelings of her own inadequacy, the symptoms of which were her eating disorders. The world felt this trait in her character and loved her for her vulnerablity, wondered her for her honesty.

I saw Diana for the last time in London on 1st July, her birthday, as she characteristically didn't take any time to celebrate her special day with friends, instead she took part in an event as the honourary guest for the good of a charitable organization. She was amazing, as always, but I would much rather keep the memory of the day that I spent with her in March, when she visited me and my children at home in South Africa. I am proud that we were able, apart from the public meeting with President Mandela, to avoid all the waiting paparazzi taking even one single shot of her. That meant a great deal to her. I will always lovingly remember those days. We felt like we had returned to our childhood, when we, the youngest in the family, spent unceasing amounts of time with each other. At heart she had absolutely not altered from the big sister who had mothered me as a baby, who walked to school with me and bore the long train journeys with me between our parents' houses at the weekends. It is all honour to her straightness and strength that even later she remained loyal to her character, inspite of the most bizarre life that one can only imagine. 

There is no doubt that she recently sought a new goal in her life. She always spoke about leaving England, most of all because of the way that she was treated by the newspapers. I don't believe that she ever understood why the media mocked her wellmeant intentions, why they permanently appeared to strive to bring her downfall. It remains a mystery. My own and only explanation is based on the fact that those who stand on the opposite side of the moral spectrum see real goodness as being a threat. It is worth noticing that of all the ironies that concern Diana, this is perhaps the greatest: that a girl who was given the same name as the ancient goddess of hunting became the most hunted person in modern time.

She would wish that we today take on the duty of protecting her beloved sons William and Harry from a similar fate. And I do this here for you, Diana. We will not let them suffer the same fate that brought you regularly to tears of desperation. Also I vow along with your mother and your sisters that we, your family, will do everything in our power in order to continue the imaginative and loving way in which you have cared for these two extraordinary young men, so that their souls will not be crushed by duty and tradition, but will be able to sing out freely and openly, just as you had imagined. We fully and completely respect the tradition which they were both born into, and will observe their royal duties and strengthen them in these. But then we also recognise, as much as you the necessity for them to learn about so many different aspects of life as only possible, in order for them to be spiritually and emotionally prepared for the coming years. I know, you would not expect anything less from us. William and Harry, we all feel deeply for you today and care about you. We are destroyed in the sadness at the loss of a woman who was not even our mother. We cannot even imagine how great your suffering is. 

I would like to finish by thanking God for the small luck that he had us in this tragedy; that he took Diana at a time when she was more beautiful and radiant than ever and as she had so much pleasure in her personal life. Above all we are thankful to God for the life of a woman, who I am so proud to be able to call my sister: the unique, the complex, the remarkable and irreplaceable Diana, whose inner just as her outer beauty will never be erased from our memories.