Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. But it is when beauty starts showing in actions, that stone-hearted people find it hard to ignore. HRH Princess Diana of Wales was one of the very few people on earth who not only was a wonderful mother, and Princess, but also, above all, human being.

Princess Diana was an iconic figure and was said to be the most photographed person ever. Married to Prince Charles, the Crown Prince of the United Kingdom, in 1981, she received the title of “Her Royal Highness, Princess Diana of Wales.” Belonging to an aristocratic family with links to Charles II, she was 20 and Charles was 33 at the time of the wedding, which was watched by over 1 billion people worldwide on TV. She was involved in charity work and was one of the first celebrities to be photographed with a victim of AIDS. She was also active in the campaign to ban landmines.

She had two sons who were the centers of her life, William and Harry. She supported them at every step, helped them grow up not only as princes but as better human beings. Apart from fulfilling her domestic duties, she made public appearances, too, which helped her make a special place in the hearts of millions around the world. Like any normal person, she had to face a number of issues within the royal family. As they did not accept her whole heartedly and many also believed Prince Charles did not love her, which left a lasting impact on her, yet she was always seen smiling and ready to help the needy. Unlike usual royalty, Princes Diana was involved in various organizations that were working for AIDs, poverty, human rights and women’s rights. Some say that even Angelina Jolie, with all her charity work, has not been able to reach Diana’s stature.

One of her most impressive activities was when she paid a visit to Middlesex Hospital London in 1987 and shook hands with AIDs patients for the first time. In 1989 she visited a Leprosy hospital in Indonesia and worked to raise funds for them too. During the 1990s Princess Diana paid a visit to Yaounde Deaf School, Cameroon, and Lagos Hospital, Nigeria; and she visited a shelter for abandoned children with AIDS in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

During the September of 1991 Princess Diana visited Pakistan and visited the Badshahi Mosque, Norpoor Family Centre, Khyber Pass and the Khyber Rifles Mess in Landikotal. A few months later, she visited India and met Mother Teresa at her Hospice for the Sick and Dying in Calcutta. While engaged in humanitarian efforts, she had to face a separation from Prince Charles. That however did not stop her from working for what she said was her life’s mission, and she continued to serve humanity.

After her death, her sons were broken hearted, and it was obviously a hard time for them. Prince Harry and Prince William, as is the ritual, joined the British Army and served in Afghanistan and participated in active warfare in the war on terrorism. Prince William’s marriage two years ago was held with a lot of pomp and show and he gave his mother’s ring to his wife on their engagement.

"Obviously, mother is not going to be around to share in any of the fun and excitement of it all, so this is my way of keeping her sort of close to it all," said William at the time. Even though she passed away years ago, he felt her presence at the wedding through that special ring. Prince Harry continues to follow in his mother’s footsteps and does charity work for AIDs/HIV victims. Prince Williams and Prince Harry organized a concert in memory of their mother. In 2007, Prince William took on the role of the President of the Royal Marsden Hospital Trust. Princess Diana previously held the same position from 1989 until her death in 1997.

On the 18th death anniversary of the “Princess of Hearts” this year, people poured out their sentiments on social media. To upset her fans further, the condition of Diana’s grave was brought in front of everyone. Even the Royal Chef who cooked for Princess Diana complained and asked the Royal family to take a look into the matter.

Princess Diana was not only loved by the general public but was also adored by important public figures across the globe.

The late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, said, “People said if a British princess can actually shake hands with AIDS sufferers and sit down, then there is nothing in this superstition.”

Bill Clinton, former President of the United States praised her with the words, “She shared the life struggles of ordinary people. She cared about them. She was not self-absorbed enough to lend her hand and her heart to people in pain or in peril, especially people with AIDS and the innocent victims of land mines.”

The former Secretary-General of the U.N. Kofi Annan, speaking of her death, remarked, “The death of Princess Diana had robbed the world of a major humanitarian voice for the poor, the sick and the weak.”

Mother Teresa of Calcutta called her “a very great friend in love with the poor. She was very anxious to do something for them.”

A press release from the office of the Russian President Boris Yeltsin stated: "The president of the Russian Federation B.N. Yeltsin is deeply shocked by the news from Paris of the tragic loss of Princess Diana."

Margaret Thatcher, former prime minister of Great Britain, who had worked with Diana on many accounts said, “With the tragic death of Princess Diana, a beacon of light has been extinguished. Her good works brought hope to so many of those in need throughout the world.”

Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel praised her with the words: “The princess was a woman of grace, beauty, and charm. She represented Britain with nobility and warmth, and she captured the imagination of millions throughout the world with her dedication to her children and to innumerable worthy causes.”

The Princess once said, “Nothing brings me more happiness than trying to help the most vulnerable people in society. It is a goal and an essential part of my life – a kind of destiny. Whoever is in distress can call on me. I will come running wherever they are.”  And she stayed true to her word. Princess Diana was always willing to be at the place she was needed the most.

Diana died on 31st August, 1997, in a car crash with Dodi Al-Fayed, the heir to his Egyptian business magnate father, Mohamed Al-Fayed. Controversy still surrounds her death, which had a profound impact on the British public and that of other countries, leading to an unprecedented outpouring of grief and sympathy for a person people had learnt to love with all their hearts. Over 1 million bouquets of flowers were laid at Buckingham Palace. Her funeral was watched by countless millions around the world. The Princess of Wales was buried in the grounds of her family home of Althorp.

18 years after her death, she continues to live on in the millions of hearts she managed to touch.