Princess Diana’s memorial statue will be unveiled to the public 24 years after her tragic death in a car accident in Paris, France. The monument, which was unveiled by her sons Princes William and Harry in honour of what would have been her 60th birthday, honoured the late British royal family member’s work.
Princess Diana died on August 31, 1997, 24 years ago.
The princess and Dodi Fayed were being pursued by paparazzi when their driver, Henri Paul, entered the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997. Paul drove twice the speed limit and lost control of the vehicle while inebriated and under the influence of drugs. It collided with a wall, killing him and Fayed instantly. Trevor Reese-Jones, a bodyguard, sustained non-fatal injuries. After the accident, Princess Diana was alive and was taken to La Pitie-Salpetriere hospital, where doctors made a valiant attempt to save her. Her injuries would cause her to pass away.
In the days following Princess Diana’s death, there was a public outpouring of grief. Thousands of flowers were placed outside the gates of Kensington Palace by mourners. On September 6, 2017, the princess’s funeral was broadcast live around the world. The Princess of Wales’ coffin, pulled by a gun carriage, wound its way through the streets of London. The cortege drove two hours to Princess Diana’s final resting place at her childhood home, Althorp House, after a funeral at Westminster Abbey.
On the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, the public will be able to see her memorial statue.
In the Kensington Palace Gardens, those who wish to pay tribute to the People’s Princess will be able to do so.
The late royal is depicted standing in the middle of two children, her arms protectively placed atop their shoulders. The Palace’s Sunken Garden is open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday, as well as during certain daytime hours. The garden will be open for special hours on Aug. 31, a Tuesday, to commemorate the princess’s death anniversary.
“We acknowledge that there will be interest in viewing the statue on that day,” a spokesman for Historic Royal Palaces told Hello! Magazine. So we’ll give you access to the Cradle Walk, which is the lovely walkway that circles the Sunken Garden. On that Tuesday, especially for the anniversary, we will open it up to passers-by and anyone else who wants to stop and take a moment.”
Princess Diana’s favourite spot in the palace was the garden.
A plaque with Princess Diana’s name and the date of her unveiling will be visible to visitors of the memorial. A stone with an excerpt from the poem “The Measure of a Man” stands in front. Per Hello! Over 4,000 flowers have been added to the garden, including forget-me-nots, Diana’s favourite flower.
According to the BBC, her sons Harry and William remembered their mother during the unveiling and said the following. They said, “We remember her love, strength, and character.” “Qualities that made her a global force for good, improving the lives of countless people.”