Wellwishers mark marriage at Paris Diana shrine

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As millions of television viewers around the world watched Prince William marry Kate Middleton in London Friday, in Paris a small number of wellwishers remembered his late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Before the ceremony someone lay a single pink rose under the "Flame of Freedom" statue at the Pont d'Alma underpass where she died in a car crash in August 1997, which has become an unofficial shrine in her memory.

"Dear Diana, thinking of you on this special day," read a handwritten note.

Nearby, a visitor who signed her name as Linda had left a poem on a laminated sheet of paper.

"Dear Diana," part of it read. "We know that up above your light is shining through. And that you'll be right beside them when they say 'Yes, I do'."

William, who married Kate in Westminster Abbey on Friday, was only 15 when his mother died in the Paris accident.

The usual small trickle of tourists filed past the flame under cloudy skies, but none said they had come specially to mark the wedding day.

There was a more celebratory mood at the nearby British embassy, where hundreds of champagne-sipping guests made the most of a free buffet at British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott's reception in Paris.

The ceremony was broadcast on large scereens, and there were gasps of wonder at the bride's dress, amid Union Jack bunting and napkins.

© 2011 AFP

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