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Concert For Diana attracts thousands

Story by Jack Foley

AN ESTIMATED 63,000 music fans joined Princes William and Harry at Wembley Stadium on Sunday, July 1, 2007, to celebrate the life of Princess Diana on what would have been her 46th birthday.

Concert For Diana was the result of months of work by Diana’s sons who predicted it would be remembered as “an incredible night” of music and celebration.

The six-hour concert was broadcast to 140 countries and raised thousands of pounds for charitable causes favoured by the late princess.

Amid heightened security following the double car bombing plot that was foiled in London on Friday, proceedings were kicked off by Sir Elton John who performed a rendition of Your Song in front of a giant photograph of Diana by Mario Testino.

Pop veterans Duran Duran then delivered thrilling versions of classic hits Rio, a favourite of the princess, and Wild Boys to rapturous applause.

Further acts to perform included Status Quo and Rod Stewart, US rapper Kanye West, British singers James Morrison, Natasha Bedingfield and Lily Allen, US rock band Orson and British pop act The Feeling.

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber also staged a medley of songs from his musicals, while another of Diana’s favourites – the English National Ballet, of whom she was a patron – performed as well.

The princes themselves took to the stage before the music began and thanked everyone for coming and supporting the event.

Prince William then told fans that the concert was “about all that our mother loved in life – her music, her dancing, her charities and her family and friends”.

Prince Harry, meanwhile, paid tribute to his fellow soldiers serving in Iraq, saying he wished he could be with them and apologising for not being able to do so.

The 22-year-old had been due to be deployed to Basra earlier this year but was eventually told that he couldn’t go by military commanders who decided it was too dangerous.

“To you and everybody else on operations at the moment, we would both like to say, stay safe,” he added.

Among the host of celebrities who appeared to introduce the live acts, 24 star Kiefer Sutherland drew one of the biggest cheers as he lined up The Feeling. He referred to Diana as “a loving and dedicated mother and a great icon of giving”.

And Hollywood veteran Dennis Hopper joined actress Sienna Miller on stage to introduce Lily Allen, before announcing: “This is a party, it’s a celebration and you’re going to love it.”

Of the live favourites, Nelly Furtado went down a storm as she delivered three of her biggest hits, Sir Tom Jones thrilled fans with a version of the Arctic Monkeys’ I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, and Lily Allen drew big cheers for her hits LDN and No.1 smash Smile.

Take That also delivered crowd-pleasing versions of their hits Patience and Back For Good, while Hollywood comedian Ben Stiller poked fun at himself when introducing his Extras and Night At The Museum co-star Ricky Gervais, who performed a song by his Office alter-ego David Brent with co-star Mackenzine Crook – namely, Free Love On A Free Love Freeway.

He then delighted many by performing a version of his infamous David Brent dance – filling in time before the inevitable finale from Sir Elton John.

Sie Elton, for his part, sang three songs, including Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, Tiny Dancer and Are You Ready For Love.

The event was rounded off with a message by Nelson Mandela, who reiterated his view that the world would miss Diana (and still did), and of footage of the princess as a child.

Princes William and Harry also returned to the stage to thank everyone for their support – from the artists who took part for free to the Wembley Stadium technicians and staff, to the fans who bought tickets and watched on TV from around the world.

It’s been 10 years since Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car crash on August 31, 1997, along with boyfriend Dodi Fayed and his chauffeur Henri Paul.

The concert was put on to remind people of the good she did amid the continuing questions surrounding her death.

“After 10 years there’s been a rumbling of people bringing up the bad and over time people seem to forget or have forgotten all the amazing things she did,” Prince William had earlier explained.

What did you think? Send your memories or email your Diana Concert photos

  1. July 1st,
    Good for The Princes! I’m sure this was the BEST way for them to remember her and honor her. God Bless them!

    Marjorie    Jul 2    #
  2. I watched the concert on TV after work here in Brisbane. It was a wonderful way to remember her birthday, life and the tremendous impact she made to the people she met and those she visited. As Prince William states some people still bring up negative issues of her life even though she has been gone for so many years. Why is she not remembered for the terrific work she did for those less fortunate than herself. It would have been a different life for her if there were not three people. The performers and those who organised the show did a fantastic job. Those who introduced the artists did a good job as well. David Beckham’s statement about Princess Diana always being a princess is true for people who will always remember her as Princess Diana, not Diana, Princess of Wales. The concert should have concert for Princess Diana, always the people’s princess in England and around the world. Cheers.

    beagrie    Jul 2    #
  3. i watched the whole thing live in canada. i danced, i cried, i sang. mandela and blair were spot on, the princes remind me of their mother

    Wayno    Jul 2    #
  4. Like Beagrie, I too watched after work up till 2am. It was simply remarkable, the love and spirit shown by all is still the same like we were happy for her on her wedding day. A beautiful person, a person who believed in love.
    In her special way she ‘raised’ 2 fantastic human beings. The world saw how they stood strong during her funeral. They carry this enormous love for her, now as young adults they have the capabilities and capacity to sharing with us of their love for their mother that we never get to see after her death. It is not easy to grow up under such pressure, at a young age they lost a place where you go for hugs and kisses… to your mum….
    Dead or alive, Diana did an amazing job by instilling love, good values in her boys. God Bless You Diana. God Bless Princes William and Prince Harry. Don’t be lonely princes, we're still here to support you and still hold your mother dear in our hearts forever….

    Ras    Jul 4    #