"She sparkled of course," her brother recalled. 

By Kimberly Truong
Jul 01, 2019 @ 3:15 pm
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Looking back on this day in royal history. 

On July 1, 1997, Princess Diana celebrated her 36th birthday like a true princess would. Instead of throwing a big party, she attended a charity event. 

According to Tina Brown's book, The Diana Chronicles, she spent her birthday receiving ninety bouquets of flowers, and a sweet phone call from Prince Harry, who was 12 at the time. Though he was away at school at Ludgrove, he reportedly called home and even gathered a group of his classmates to sing "Happy Birthday" to his mother over the phone. 

Diana also spent the evening of her birthday at a very special occasion — that night, she attended the 100th anniversary celebration of the Tate Gallery in London as a guest of honor. 

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For the event, she wore a black beaded dress designed for her by Jacques Azagury, along with black slingback heels and a an emerald and diamond necklace. 

"Diana loved it. I believe she had another dress to wear but ended up wearing mine," Azagury told HELLO! Magazine. "She was happier than I had ever seen her. There was something about the way she carried herself; a certain new-found confidence."

Tim Graham/Getty Images
Tim Graham/Getty Images

During the gala, she received even more flowers and gifts from adoring fans, both inside and outside the event, and mingled with fellow guests like Steve Martin, Lady Helen Taylor, and supermodel Iman (wife of David Bowie). 

 

Sadly, it was the last gala she would attend before she tragically passed away just less than two months later. 

RELATED: Prince William and Kate Middleton Will Follow in Princess Diana's Footsteps with Their Next Royal Visit

At her funeral later that year, her brother, Earl Spencer, recalled the event in his eulogy. 

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"The last time I saw Diana was on July 1, her birthday in London, when typically she was not taking time to celebrate her special day with friends but was guest of honor at a special charity fund-raising evening," he said, adding, "She sparkled of course."

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