Diana's brother Earl Spencer pays tribute to her 'bravery' amid fundraiser plans


Earl Spencer has paid tribute to his sister Diana, Princess of Wales' "bravery in fighting for good causes" as the charity set up in her memory announced plans for a gala fundraising dinner.

Diana's brother will honour her legacy, in the 20th year since the Princess' death, by hosting the night at his family's ancestral home for the Diana Award, a charity established to promote her belief in the positive power of young people.

Earl Spencer said: "I have always championed the Diana Award, from the moment it was raised as a possibility in the grim days after my sister's death.

"It so clearly chimed with her love for children and young people, and reflected her bravery in fighting for good causes - a gift that she possessed from a very early age."

The memory of Diana will also be honoured by an exhibition of 15 famous photographs of the princess taken by Mario Testino in the last year of her life.

They will go on display from Bank Holiday Monday at the Princess' family home of Althorp in Northamptonshire.

Speaking about the images, originally shot for Vanity Fair magazine in 1997, Earl Spencer said: "I have always felt that Mario Testino captured the essence of Diana, quite brilliantly.

"These wonderful images made a huge impact on me when I saw them first and revisiting them now, 20 years later, seems a fitting tribute to my beautiful, fabulous, sister."

Althorp is Diana's final resting place with the princess buried on an island in a lake on the estate.

Countess Spencer, Earl Spencer's wife, has been overseeing an extensive redesign of the Oval Lake to honour Diana's memory.

The 20th anniversary of Diana's death is being marked by a year-long celebration of her qualities of kindness, compassion and service.

Her sons the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have already commissioned a statue of their mother that will be erected in a place she knew well, the public gardens of Diana's former home Kensington Palace.

This summer Althorp will be hosting the Walking In Her Shoes exhibition showcasing 20 inspirational young people who hold the Diana Award and demonstrating the important impact they have had on society.

Over the past 18 years Earl Spencer has welcomed thousands of young people who hold the Diana Award as his guests at Althorp.

He was on the committee that established the charity in his sister's memory, and has spoken of how the Diana Award fits with her core values of kindness, compassion and service.

Tessy Ojo, chief executive of the Diana Award, said: "It is an absolute privilege to have the opportunity to hold this fundraising gala and special exhibition at Princess Diana's family home during this 20th anniversary year.

"We are so grateful to Earl Spencer, who is a long-standing supporter of our work.

"Funds raised at this event will help us continue the work of supporting thousands of young people make the changes they need to help improve their life chances, through our anti-bullying and mentoring programmes."