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10 years on, Diana continues to make news

The 'people's princess' continues to make news, as editors rush to whet the appetite of their readers who are keen to know more about her life and endless theories of dark conspiracies and royal intrigues.

world Updated: Aug 31, 2007 15:06 IST

Diana-mania is once again in full flow in Britain as millions of her admirers in London and across the globe mark the tenth anniversary of her death in a car accident whose cause has still to be completely unravelled and continues to spawn endless theories of dark conspiracies and royal intrigues.

Diana, who former prime minister Tony Blair famously bestowed upon her the title of a 'people's princess', continues to make news, as editors rush to whet the appetite of their readers who are keen to know more about her life and times that were marked more by grief than happiness.

The Diana industry is alive and kicking, with her charming visage selling thousands of books, magazines, newspapers and memorabilia.

One of the most featured photograph and visual in the media is Diana sitting alone, demurely but sadly, in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra. She visited the mausoleum in 1992 on an official state visit to India. The photograph was widely interpreted as a stark statement of her solitude.

Several events have been planned across Britain Friday, including a memorial service here attended by Princes Harry and William. The Archbishop of Canterbury has written two prayers to mark the death anniversary.

Rowan Williams, the archbishop, was invited to write the prayers that include the mention of Diana's "vulnerability", her "tragic and untimely death" and the "hope and joy" she gave to many. Text versions of the prayers have been published on the Church of England website.

A spokeswoman for the Archbishop of Canterbury said, "The prayers are for the service that is taking place in the Guards Chapel. We are hoping that they will be used by other churches. If anyone is planning to do anything for the Diana memorial they have got these prayers".

Elsewhere, an unseemly impropriety was avoided when Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, decided against attending the memorial service even though she had accepted the invitation from Princes William and Harry to the event.

In a statement explaining her decision, Camilla said she was "touched" at her invitation from Princes William and Harry. She said: "I accepted and wanted to support them. However, on reflection I believe my attendance could divert attention from the purpose of the occasion which is to focus on the life and service of Diana."

The memorial service will be attended by around 500 guests, including more than 30 royals and celebrities such as Sir Elton John, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Ten years after her death in Paris, the event continues to be shrouded in conspiracy theories. A French journalist this month claimed to have seen hospital details about Diana being pregnant when she died, a claim discounted in Britain.

Stories continue to be published regularly in the British press about a new angle to her death. A BBC analysis of articles in UK newspapers and magazines over the past 10 years shows that Diana still regularly attracts more than 8,000 mentions a year.

By August this year, there have already been over 7,000, and more are expected due to this being the tenth death anniversary. Television and radio continue to broadcast special features on her while several books can be seen jostling for space in bookshops, each with Diana's visage on the cover.

The Daily Express editor Peter Hill told the Independent: "My job is to produce newspapers that people want to read and I can tell you that people want to read about the Diana conspiracy because the figures tell me that they do. People are fascinated."

Sally Cartwright, director-at-large of Hello magazine, told the BBC that the publication saw a 15-20 percent boost in sales of two issues this summer, when they ran a Diana supplement and a cover story on the two princes at her memorial concert.

She said: "No-one sold magazines and newspapers like Diana. When she was alive she could comfortably boost sales by anything from 20-50 percent. No one since has had the same effect, no one has replaced her.

"It was a symbiotic relationship. She used the media to put her case across, and we used her to sell millions and millions of magazines and newspapers. For her, it proved a very expensive relationship."

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