London – Princess Diana’s Parks

Princess Diana was reborn in London some years ago with the launch of a memorial walk crossing the parks she knew and loved. You can pick up a map and see three palaces and two mansions which featured in her life and times – Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, St James’s Palace and Spencer House.

Strangely, the Diana Fountain, also known as Diana of the Treetops, a fountain and statue by Jim Clack that stands in Green Park has nothing to do with her – officially – as it was created in the 1950’s, and Diana only came along in 1961. Yet, for many people, it is a tribute to Princess Diana as it symbolises the Roman goddess of freedom, pointing her fingers in the direction of Buckingham Palace itself.

The plaques which mark the walk are by sculptor Alec Peever. The rose remembers Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana at her funeral after the Princess of Wales died in a car accident on 31 August 1997 in Paris. No member of the Royal Family attended the opening of the walk, but if you are a fan, it’s a wonderful way to take in places like Kensington Palace, which Diana called KP – her home during her marriage to Prince Charles and until her death.

 

 

Hyde Park and Princess Diana

Kensington was Diana’s neighbourhood and it’s a great place to pick up picnic ingredients if you want to wander across Hyde Park and find a shady tree in hot weather. If you prefer a table indoors, follow the water along the Serpentine to the Lido (open-air swimming pool) and its cafe and bar.  This map (Pinterest) shows Sloane Street (bottom right) which lent its name to the Eighties Sloane Rangers – Diana was considered to be ‘their’ Princess.

You can see the Serpentine dominating Hyde Park at the centre and the tube (London Underground) stops which are dotted around giving you handy access – particularly Lancaster Gate – if you don’t want to take the full walk, but use a shortcut to the Serpentine and to Diana’s memorial fountain. It’s a ten-minute walk from Lancaster Gate station exit, along the water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hyde Park – Lovers and Music, and Music Lovers

Diana was a true romantic and Hyde Park has long been a place for lovers, music and music lovers too. During World War Two, American GI’s stationed in London would romance local London women here. In the Sixties, Hyde Park became famous as the site of a Rolling Stones concert (images, Pinterest, below). The concert took place on 5th July 1969, just four days after Princess Diana had turned eight years old. She can’t possibly have imagined that one day the same park would become her living memorial, with its fountain and playground in her name – both designed for small children to enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pintersest/Image by © Sunday People/Mirrorpix/Corbis

 

 

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