The anniversary has a bittersweet significance for Julia Porter-Smith, 72.

She and her husband Alan greeted the Princess when she officially opened the Oxsrad sports centre for disabled people in Oxford, in August 1989. Mr Porter Smith died just two and half months before Diana in 1997 and trees commemorating both their lives now stand side by side in the sports centre's grounds in Marsh Lane, Marston.

Mrs Porter-Smith, 72, from Bicester, said: "My husband and I were thrilled to meet Diana and spent half an hour with her at the centre, showing her around.

"She was so interested in everything, in fact her minions were trying to direct her at things to look at, but she went exactly where she wanted, opening every door and asking about everything she saw. She even wandered into the gents toilet because there was a little boy in there the same age as one of her boys! She was especially wonderful with the children.

"Alan and I felt so thrilled to have spent time with her. I lost Alan in June 1997 and was still grieving for him when the horrendous news came that Diana had died.

"I know it would have upset Alan terribly too. We planted trees for them both at Oxsrad because Alan was instrumental in setting up Oxsrad and Diana brought her own special magic to it too."

Gill Carr was manager of the Oxford branch of the marriage guidance charity Relate, in Iffley Road, when Diana visited in 1991.

She said: "You had to apply for Diana to come and visit and I was determined to get her here. Even so, we were so excited when we found out she was coming. She was making four visits in Oxfordshire that day and I was immediately struck by just how at ease she made people feel.

"My lasting memory of her happened when she and I and our national director were walking upstairs to my office for a chat.

"She was in front of me and when she got to the top of the stairs, she stopped and asked my director about a woman she had met at another branch of Relate. Apparently the women had been dying and even though some time had passed, she remembered her name and wanted to know how she was.

"When she learned the lady had died she seemed so sad. It really stayed with me, the fact she remembered this lady and took the time to ask about her. She really was a caring person and I will never forget meeting her."

Pub landlady Sheila Guinnane was so devastated by Diana's death, she changed the name of her pub, The Feathers, in Postcombe, near Thame, to England's Rose.

A decade on, the pub is still decorated with pictures and other memorabilia of the princess, and is visited by Diana fans from across the world. Mrs Guinnane, 65, said: "I never met Diana, but I became a real supporter of hers, very early on.

"When I heard she had died, the world stood still. I still cannot believe it has been 10 years."

Mrs Guinnane said the name for the pub came from Elton John's multi-million selling tribute single Candle in the Wind '97, which he recorded shortly after the death of Diana, with the opening line: Goodbye England's Rose.

She added: "On the day of Diana's funeral the pub was packed, but you could hear a pin drop. People were so sad.

"I have around 30 boxes of memorabilia of her life. But my favourite thing is a photograph of her taken aboard Mohamed Al Fayed's yacht, shortly before she died. He sent this to me after he learned I was re-naming the pub."

Mrs Guinnane said she would mark the 10th anniversary quietly.

"I will be thinking of her and the kind of person she was. I believe we should celebrate her life, not her death."

Lizzie Dorey was just four years old when she was picked to present a posy to Princess Diana.

Now 27, and a teacher at Botley Primary School, she said: "I presented them to her on behalf of the children at the Churchill Hospital's Day Nursery.

"I only have little flashes of memories about it. I remember it being very cold, there was snow on the ground and she arrived in a big, red helicopter. When Diana came up to us, she bent down to reach us and I handed her the flowers. She said: 'Thank you'."

While Diana taught nursery school children, Ms Dorey now teaches seven- to nine-year olds.

She said: "It's sad, but the children I teach do not know Diana, they were born after she died. I remember my mum waking me up to tell me she had died. I didn't believe it. I think that because I met her, it made me feel more of a link to her."