Princess Diana's former chef found her death to be a "real shock".

Princess Diana

Princess Diana

The late royal tragically passed away in 1997 when she was involved in a car crash in Paris, France, at the age of 36, and her former chef Darren McGrady has opened up about the "awful" atmosphere in Kensington Palace after the news of her death.

Darren - who was preparing to head into work to cook meals for Diana's sons Prince William and Prince Harry after their holiday in Balmoral when he heard the news - recalled: "I knew it was going to be a super exciting time because the boys were coming home from Balmoral - they'd race up and down the corridors - so it was going to be a fun time. I'd got up in the morning, turned on the TV and saw the news. They were saying the Princess had died. I couldn't believe it. It was a real shock. I flicked through all the channels. I called Wendy my wife upstairs and said, 'They're saying the boss has died.'

"I called the palace and I couldn't get through - all the lines were engaged. And so I went into work and took the food with me that I was going to do for dinner the next day, because I couldn't accept that she was gone. It was a real shock.

"Her apartments eight and nine were on lockdown so no one was allowed in. I went into the office next door and that's when the girls were all in tears. The next week I was in the palace but there was no cooking. It was just tidying up things and throwing out food because we weren't going to be using the palace again. It was just awful."

This month marks the 20th anniversary since Diana's passing, and Darren says her funeral is still a "horrible memory".

He added to Hello! Online: "Right until the funeral I'd go in every day just to be there. Seeing the flowers out the front getting higher and higher and seeing all the people. It was a horrible memory. I got to go and spend time alone with the Princess in the Chapel Royal. Each of the staff members got a chance to do that - that was nice. Come the funeral we all went to the Abbey. Her personal staff actually lined up outside the front door to say goodbye to her for the very last time as she left Kensington Palace."

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