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Image: Ad portraying Princess Diana playing cello in her underwear
Tim Stewart News Limited
An ad by a Chinese lingerie company portrays Princess Diana playing a cello in her underwear and a tiara. (Look at the hair color on that little boy — is that supposed to be a young Prince Harry?)
TODAY staff
updated 9/1/2010 4:40:40 PM ET 2010-09-01T20:40:40

Oh, Diana. Will you ever be allowed to rest in peace?

Apparently not.

On the 13th anniversary of the Princess of Wales’ death, a Chinese lingerie company launched a new line of ... wait for it ... “Diana underwear.” The slogan for the splashy ads, which portray Princess Diana playing a cello to a little boy while wearing a bra, panties and diamond-studded tiara, is, “Feel the romance of British royalty.”

Image: Princess Diana in 1987
Getty Images
In this 1987 photo, Princess Diana wore the Spencer family tiara, the Queen's family order and the Prince of Wales feathers diamond necklace. The design of her underwear was not disclosed.

The giant Diana billboards are on display in bustling city centers and airports across China. Sam Chambers, a British journalist who is based in China, said he was stunned when he noticed the ad in an airport.

“I was just going to collect my baggage from the carousel when I saw it flash up on a rolling advertising screen and couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing,” Chambers said, according to the British newspaper the Daily Mail. “I thought, surely not, because it was rolling quite quickly. So I waited to check when it came up again and, sure enough, there was an image of Diana.

“It’s all the more striking because today is the anniversary of her death.”

Diana died in a car crash in a Paris tunnel on Aug. 31, 1997. Also killed in the accident were her boyfriend, Dodi al-Fayed, and their driver, Henri Paul.

On the anniversary of the notorious accident, fans of the princess left flowers and other remembrances for her outside Kensington Palace in London. They also shared their displeasure over the lingerie ads.

“Sorry but I find this sick, and in extremely bad taste,” posted one commenter on the Daily Mail’s website.

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“This is extremely unfair on Diana’s sons and family,” wrote another. “It’s distasteful ... downright sordid. She doesn’t deserve this.”

Alan Berry, co-founder of the Diana Appreciation Society, described the ad as “blatant exploitation of a dead lady’s name,” according to the First Post in London. The First Post said a spokesman for Prince Charles, Princess Diana’s ex-husband, declined to comment on the ads.

The Diana lingerie line is made by a company called Jealousy International in China’s Guangdong province. A representative of the company reportedly told China Radio that the Diana product line was meant to honor the princess’s taste in underwear.

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: Life

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  1. Lady Diana Frances Spencer, later Princess Diana of Wales (1961-1997), is shown July 1, 1963, at Park House, Sandringham, Norfolk, England. (Keystone via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Lady Diana Spencer, then a children's nanny, is shown with two of her charges in 1980, the year before she married Prince Charles. (Hulton Archive via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Lady Diana Spencer playfully gestures toward photographers during a visit to Broadlands, the former home of Earl Mountbatten, in Romsey, England, on May 9, 1981. Walking behind her is police bodyguard Graham Smith. (Tim Graham / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Princess Diana and Prince Charles are shown on their wedding day in London on July 29, 1981. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Princess Diana dances with actor John Travolta during a visit to the White House in 1985. (Tim Graham Picture Library via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. A 1986 Emanuel ball gown worn by late Princess Diana is displayed on a mannequin during an auction in London, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. According to the auction house, Diana wore the gown with gold sequins, crystals and pearl beads comes with matching headband, optional sleeve panels and petticoat, in various occasions. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis) Mandatory Credit: Photo by Today/REX USA (105461a) PRINCESS DIANA Richard Von Weizsacker state visit, banquet at the German Ambassador's residence, London, Britain - Jul 1986 (AP, Rex USA) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Princess Diana visits a hostel for abandoned children, many of whom are HIV-positive or suffer from AIDS, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 24, 1991. (Tim Graham Picture Library via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Princess Diana chats with Mother Teresa during a visit to a convent in Rome on Feb. 19, 1992. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Prince Charles and Princess Diana are shown during their last official trip together, in Seoul, South Korea, on Nov. 3, 1992. They attended a banquet at the government Blue House in Seoul. (Tim Graham Picture Library via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Princess Diana returns to Kensington Palace in London on Dec. 9, 1992, after the initial announcement that she and Prince Charles would separate. (Thierry Saliou / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Princess Diana leaves a press conference at the Hilton Hotel, London, in which she gave a speech resigning from her public duties, on Dec. 3, 1993. (Hulton Archive via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Princess Diana watches a military parade on V-J Day, Aug. 19, 1995, in London with her sons Harry, second left, and William, second right, and Prince Charles, right. (Johnny Eggitt / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Princess Diana smiles during a visit to Leicester, England, on May 27, 1997. (John Stillwell / Pool via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Princess Diana tours a minefield dressed in a flak jacket and face shield in Huambo, Angola, on Jan. 15, 1997. The visit was part of Diana's campaign to raise awareness for victims of landmines. (John Stillwell / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Princess Diana attends a preview party at Christies, New York, on June 23, 1997, for an auction of her dresses. Lord Hindlip, chairman of Christies International, accompanies her. (Tim Graham Picture Library via Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. From left, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Earl Charles Spencer (Princess Diana's brother), Prince William and Prince Philip (Charles' father) watch the coffin bearing Diana's body being taken into Westminster Abbey, London, on Sept. 6, 1997. (John Gaps III / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Prince William, left, and Prince Harry appear on stage during the star-studded Concert for Diana, which honored their mother, at London's Wembley Stadium on July 1, 2007. More than 60,000 people attended the event on what would have been the princess' 46th birthday. (Stephen Hird / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. A photograph and plastic flower in memory of the late Princess Diana sit within the grounds of Kensington Palace, London, on Aug. 30, 2007, a day before a memorial service in honor of the late princess. (Lefteris Pitarakis / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Baby Diana
    Keystone via Getty Images
    Above: Slideshow (18) Slideshow: Princess Diana's life - Life
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    Slideshow (21) Slideshow: Princess Diana's life - Style
  3. Image: Royal Engagement
    Hulton Archive via Getty Images
    Slideshow (14) Slideshow: Princess Diana's life - Wedding
  4. Last moments
    H.M. Coroner via EPA
    Slideshow (10) Slideshow: Princess Diana's life - Final moments

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