Prince Wil­liam, Kate visit Paris 20 years af­ter Diana’s death

New Straits Times - - World -

PARIS: Bri­tain’s Prince Wil­liam and his wife Kate will pay an of­fi­cial visit to the city to­day and to­mor­row, months be­fore the 20th an­niver­sary of the death of Wil­liam’s mother, Diana, in a car crash in the French cap­i­tal.

The sec­ond-in-line to the throne and his spouse will meet Pres­i­dent Fran­cois Hol­lande and launch a ini­tia­tive called “Les Voisins” (The Neigh­bours) de­signed to fos­ter closer re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries at a time when Bri­tain is set to be­gin the for­mal process of leav­ing the Euro­pean Union.

The Duke and Duchess of Cam- bridge will host a black-tie din­ner at the Bri­tish em­bassy and at­tend a Six Na­tions rugby match be­tween France and Wales at the na­tional sta­dium to­mor­row.

It will be the 34-year- old prince’s first en­gage­ment as pa­tron of the Welsh Rugby Union since tak­ing over the role from his grand­mother, Queen El­iz­a­beth II.

The cou­ple will be trav­el­ling without their chil­dren, Ge­orge, 3, and Char­lotte, 1.

Al­though no of­fi­cial com­mem­o­ra­tion is planned dur­ing the trip, it will be im­pos­si­ble to es­cape the poignancy of Diana’s el- dest son vis­it­ing the city where she died on Aug 31, 1997.

Wil­liam was 15 and his brother, Harry, 12, when their mother and her boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, were killed af­ter the MercedesBenz in which they were pas­sen­gers crashed in a tunnel here as it was be­ing pur­sued at high speed by press pho­tog­ra­phers.

Their French chauffeur, Henri Paul, who was later found to be over the le­gal blood al­co­hol limit, also died.

To mark the 20th an­niver­sary of her death, the princes an­nounced ear­lier this year they were set­ting up a com­mit­tee to raise funds to pay ffor a sttaat­tuuee of Diana to be erected in the public gar­dens of Kens­ing­ton

Palace in Lon­don. AFP

Prince Wil­liam and his wife, Cather­ine.

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