When Diana, Princess of Wales tragically passed away in 1997, the loss sparked an unprecedented wave of public grief. As her sons The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex unveil a new statue in her honor at Kensington Palace, let’s take a look at other Diana memorials that exist around the world.
THE DIANA MEMORIAL FOUNTAIN – HYDE PARK
The Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park was officially opened on July 7, 2004 by the Queen.
The oval stone fountain was designed by American landscape artist Kathryn Gustafson, who said the design was based on “the princess’ most beloved and cherished qualities. It was about inclusiveness and accessibility.
Gustafson added that it would be an “environment in which you can walk, be a part” and that it would feature a “new use of water, shining in the sun, cascading, that you can touch and you can be interactive. with and of which you can be a part.
The water flows in two different ways to show the different sides of Diana’s life. One side has a quiet, flowing path while the other has curves, steps, and other obstacles for the water to flow smoothly.
The Queen was joined by Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry and members of the Spencer family – the first time the two families had been together since Diana’s death – to open the memorial in Hyde Park.
In her speech, the Queen said of her late daughter-in-law: “In every way, Diana’s tragic death has captured the world’s attention.
“At the center of it all remains the extraordinary effect Diana had on those around her. Her willingness to empathize with people in difficulty, difficulty or distress, her willingness to embrace a new cause, her astute ability to measure everyone she has met, has allowed her not only to touch people’s lives. , but also to change them.
“It’s his wider legacy.”
The Queen called the memorial fountain “a very original memorial that captures something of the essence of a remarkable human being.” I think Diana would have appreciated; and I think she would like us all to do that too.
THE DIANA MEMORIAL PLAYGROUND – KENSINGTON GARDENS
The Diana Memorial Playground opened on June 30, 2000 in Kensington Gardens, near where the late royal spent most of her adult life. The Royal Parks maintain the Diana Memorial Playground and describe it as a “fitting tribute to a princess who loved the innocence of childhood”.
The playground, modified from an existing one around the theme Peter Pan, offers “a sensory trail, tipis, a beach around the pirate ship and various playful toys and sculptures; all in a lush setting of trees and plants.
Contrary to subsequent tributes, no member of the Royal Family attended the official opening of the playground. Earl Spencer was in attendance, but told reporters it was not considered a snub as they had wanted the day to focus on the positive aspects of Diana’s life. Princes William and Harry declined their invitations, and the Queen and Prince Charles were both out of London leading engagements at the time.
DIANA MEMORIAL WALK – LONDON
The Diana Memorial Walk is a seven mile walk that takes visitors on a circular journey to show the places that were important to Diana.
Along the promenade there are 90 plaques in the ground to mark specific moments in Diana’s life, while the promenade itself is an eight-shaped motif that passes through five significant buildings in her life: Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace, Clarence House and Spencer House.
The Diana Memorial Walk was inaugurated on the same day as the Diana Memorial Playground, June 3, 2000.
THE WHITE GARDEN – KENSINGTON PALACE
In 2017, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex officially opened the White Garden at Kensington Palace, a tribute to mark the 20e anniversary of their mother’s death.
Located in the Sunken Garden, it would have been one of his favorite places to visit. Historic Royal Palaces wrote of the White Garden that it “has been completely replanted with white flowers for visitors to reflect on and celebrate the life of Princess Diana.
“He was inspired by the dresses of Princess Diana as well as Mario Testino’s famous photographs of the princess. The garden continues to follow that peaceful, pastel-colored style to this day that visitors admire and enjoy.
In November 2017, Harry and Meghan posed for photos at the Sunken Garden after announcing their engagement to keep his late mother in the celebrations.
PLACE DIANA AND THE FLAME OF LIBERTY – PARIS
Diana was also commemorated in Paris, near the site of the Pont de l’Alma accident at 16e borough. An unofficial tribute to his memory became the Flame of Liberty, a replica of the torch carried by the Statue of Liberty.
The Flame of Liberty was offered to France in 1989 by the International Herald Tribune, an English newspaper in France, and placed in the 16e borough in tribute. After Diana’s death, people started using it as a memorial to Diana, to the point where most people assume it is an official tribute.
In 2019, the Paris Council voted on the name of the district Place Diane in his memory. A government official was quoted in The telegraph saying: “We decided to rename the place because it had already been claimed in Diana’s name by Parisians and tourists.”
JARDIN DU CLOS DES BLANCS COATS – PARIS
A smaller, but official, tribute to Diana exists in the 4e borough de Paris: a small garden called the Clos des Blancs Manteaux.
A Parisian tourism site, Paris Info, describes the small garden as “a treasure of no less than 250 plant species (herbs, spices, medicinal plants, etc.) distributed in this haven of peace, which remains a relatively little known place”.
Diana has also been commemorated in other ways since her death.
The Princess of Wales rose, a white rose, was cultivated in her honor in 1997 by Harkness Roses, a breeder in the United Kingdom. Although the rose was created and presented to Diana before her death, as a tribute to her 10e anniversary of work with the British Lung Foundation — after his death, the profits from the 1998-99 season were donated to the Foundation.
The Diana, Princess of Wales rose was introduced in 1998 by the Jackson & Perkins Company. It is a pink garden rose that has ivory petals, and a portion of its early sales went to Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. It was not sold in the UK so there was no competition between it and the Princess of Wales rose.
The Princess Diana Memorial in Austria is the first in the German-speaking world and is a privately funded bust of Diana who calls her “The Queen of Hearts” on her plaque. It was presented at Kensington Palace in 2014, although it now resides in a public park in Vienna.