The family of Princess Diana gathered Friday to solemnly remember a life and a marriage still fiery discussed.
It was a day for broadcasting video snippets of one wedding and funeral; for rehashing the rights and wrongs of the failed marriage of Diana and Prince Charles. It was one more day for dredging up questions about how she came to die in a car crash in Paris with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, and for the Daily Telegraph to publish an essay which explained "why we were right to weep for Diana."
Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, were credited with organizing the noontime service at the Guards' Chapel near Buckingham Palace marking the 10th year anniversary of her death, but Charles was blamed by many for the row over an invitation to his current wife.
Camilla, who was blamed by Diana for breaking up her marriage, decided to stay home. That decision followed quickly after the Mail on Sunday published a commentary by Diana's friend, Rosa Monckton, saying the princess would have been "astonished" that Camilla was invited.
"Actually, she would have been astonished to learn that her former husband had married his longtime mistress," Monckton wrote.
A few people were waiting outside the Guards' Chapel on Friday morning, in contrast to the masses who lined the route of Diana's funeral procession to Westminster Abbey 10 years ago.
"She reached our lives deeply, even in America. She brought life to the palace and warmth, and that's what the monarchy needed," said Arlene Fitch, 54, of Boston, one of the early arrivals.
Fitch and her sister, Marie Schofield, 46, from Florida, said they planned their vacation to be in London at the time of the service.
"She (Diana) got married the same year as me, she had children the same year as me and, as her boys have grown up, they have done just the same kind of things as our boys would do," Schofield said.
Diana's most ardent admirers tied scores of bouquets, poems and pictures to the gates of Kensington Palace, Diana's former home, but the display paled in comparison to the vast carpet of blossoms that accumulated in the days immediately after her death.
Queen Elizabeth II headed the list of guests, along with her husband Prince Philip. Prince Edward, Charles' younger brother, was expected to attend, but Princess Anne - who was said to have had a frosty relationship with Diana - was not.
Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, who wrote two gossipy books about his years in her service, was not invited. Nor was Patrick Jephson, the princess' former private secretary, who also wrote two books about her.
Sir Elton John was invited, but he would not reprise his reworking of "Candle in the Wind," which he performed at the funeral.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and former Prime Minister John Major, who was in office when the royal marriage broke up, also were invited, as were more than 110 representatives of charities and other organizations that Diana supported.
Mohamed al Fayed, who accuses Prince Philip of masterminding a plot to kill Diana and Dodi Fayed, also was not on the guest list. He planned his own two minutes of silence at Harrods, his department store.
A prayer written for the memorial service by Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, gives thanks "for all the memories of her that we treasure still."
"Her vulnerability and her willingness to reach out to the excluded and forgotten touched us all; her generosity gave hope and joy to many. May she rest in peace where sorrow and pain are banished," Williams wrote.
The royal family had refrained from any public remembrance of the anniversary of the princess' death.
This year, however, William and Harry took the lead in organizing the memorial service, as well as a rock concert on Diana's birthday, July 1, which drew 70,000 fans.
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