Princes William And Harry Mark Diana's Birthday With Charity Concert

Sunday, July 1st 2007, 3:28 pm
By: News On 6

LONDON (AP) _ Waving their arms in the air with 70,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, princes William and Harry celebrated the life of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 46th birthday Sunday at a concert they organized.

William, 25, rocked his hips as Canadian pop star Nelly Furtado belted out her song ``Man Eater'' _ to the embarrassment of younger brother Harry, who shook his head and laughed.

Harry, 22, said they asked Elton John to play ``Candle in the Wind,'' the song he sang at Diana's 1997 funeral in Westminster Abbey. Originally about Marilyn Monroe, its lyrics were reworked in tribute to Diana and it became a worldwide No. 1 hit that same year.

``This evening is about all that my mother loved in life: her music, her dance, her charities and her family and friends,'' William told the crowd, thanking them and millions more who watched the show on television.

Security for the event was increased after the discovery of two unexploded car bombs in central London on Friday and an attack on Glasgow airport on Saturday where a Jeep Cherokee slammed into the main terminal and burst into flames. At least 450 officers patrolled the concert.

The memorial concert mixed rock, pop, hip hop and classical ballet and featured some of Diana's favorite acts including Duran Duran and Tom Jones. In honor of her love of dance and theater, there was a performance of an extract from ``Swan Lake'' by the English National Ballet and songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Younger artists such as Kanye West, Joss Stone and Lily Allen also performed.

William's former girlfriend Kate Middleton attended the concert, further fueling rumors that the couple, who announced their split in April, have reconciled.

Diana died Aug. 31, 1997, along with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and their driver when their Mercedes crashed inside the Pont d'Alma tunnel with media photographers in hot pursuit.

The princes have said that the memorial concert was intended as a celebration of their mother's life.

Weeks of soggy weather lifted as the sun peeked out from behind gray clouds rolling over the newly built glass-and-steel stadium _ Britain's largest _ which usually hosts soccer games.

``This is not an exercise in nostalgia, this is a party!'' director and actor Dennis Hopper said, introducing Allen, the British singing star who performed a cheery rendition of her chart-topper ``Smile.''

The crowd cheered as John played the piano and sang ``Your Song'' _ and they were on their feet as the princes introduced Duran Duran.

``Pray for sun!'' lead singer Simon LeBon told the crowd as the band broke into ``Sunrise,'' followed by ``Rio,'' which they dedicated to the late princess.

Harry added a special message for his army unit, currently serving in Iraq.

``I would also like to take this opportunity to say hi to all the guys in A Squadron of the Household Cavalry, who are serving out in Iraq at the moment,'' he said. ``I wish I was there with you. I'm sorry I can't be. But to all of those on operations at the moment, we'd both like to say stay safe.''

Harry, a second lieutenant in the regiment, was banned from going to Iraq for security reasons.

A family of fans from Portsmouth in southern England said they had come to sample the wide variety of acts all playing under the same roof _ but Diana was also in their minds.

``I was devastated,'' Karen Moore, 50, a restaurateur, said of her death.

Diana is remembered for her glamour, her extensive charity work and her tempestuous marriage to Prince Charles, heir to the British throne. The pair married in 1981 in a ceremony watched by millions around the world, but divorced in 1996 after admissions of adultery on both sides.

William said the concert was a chance for people to ``remember all the good things about her because she's not here to defend herself when she gets criticized.''

Tickets for the concert cost $90 with proceeds going to causes Diana supported.

A memorial service is also planned in London on Aug. 31, the anniversary of Diana's death.