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William and Harry attend grandmother's funeral

June 9, 2004
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Faces sombre, their heads bowed and wearing dark suits, Prince William and Prince Harry arrived in the Scottish seaside town of Oban on Thursday to bid farewell to their maternal grandmother Frances Shand Kydd. Princess Diana's mother died last week aged 68 after a lengthy battle with a degenerative brain disease.

Although brought up a Protestant, Frances converted to Catholicism in her later years, and the requiem mass was held at Oban's St Columba's Cathedral, on the Argyll coast overlooking the green hills of the isles of Mull and Kerrera.

The simple ceremony – "she wanted to be seen as one of us in Oban; I don't think she wanted any fanfare," said her friend Father Maclean – included a reading from Romans chapter eight by her elder royal grandson.

While Frances' former son-in-law, the Prince of Wales, was not present, her son, Earl Spencer, and daughters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes were among the mourners. Prince Harry had flown back to the UK from South Africa, where he is currently completing a gap year.

Paying tribute to his mother, Earl Spencer said: "My mother was an open book - a woman who was afraid of nothing and nobody, somebody not interested in convention but in truth and fun." He added: "She believed in equality and decency and had no time for self pity."

Mrs Shand Kydd was laid to rest in her beloved Highlands, at Pennyfuir Cemetary, just a couple of miles outside Oban.

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Photo: ©
Frances' two royal grandsons were both present at the Catholic requiem mass on Thursday. While Prince Harry had flown back specially from his gap year in South Africa, Prince William had reportedly been in regular contact with his grandmother in recent monthsPhoto: © PA
Photo: ©
Frances had told friends she had wanted no "fanfare" surrounding her funeral, and the service at Oban Cathedral (above) was a quiet affair attended only by family members and her Highland neighbours Photo: © PA

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