Exactly two decades ago today, the world lost its very own princess. 

Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car crash on August 31, 1997 in Paris, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry only 15 and 12-years-old at the time. She was 36. Millions mourned the British royal's sudden death, and public fascination with the international tragedy only increased as time went on. 

An interest persisted, in part, because Diana's unique spirit can still be felt today. William and Harry also began opening up about their beloved mother's untimely passing, a vast departure from the royal family's buttoned-up demeanor and reluctance to directly address the impact of her death. 

On the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death, a then 22-year-old Prince Harry spoke publicly about his loss for the first time. 

"William and I can separate life into two parts," he explained at a memorial. "There were those years when we were blessed with the physical presence beside us of both our mother and father. And then there are the 10 years since our mother's death. When she was alive we completely took for granted her unrivaled love of life, laughter, fun and folly."

Despite the long passage of time since the accident, Princess Diana's impact on the palace has never been more apparent as Prince William and Harry pick up where she left off. Read on for seven ways the always beloved celebrity changed what it means to be a royal. 

Princess Diana, Charity

Tim Graham/Getty Images

ESC: Princess Diana, Corset Belt

Georges De Keerle/Getty Images

Princess Diana, Best Looks

Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

ESC: Princess Diana

Tim Graham/Getty Images

Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Prince William

Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William

Mike Forster / Daily Mail /REX/Shutterstock

Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William

Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

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