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William and Harry’s Diana statue to be specially opened to the public to mark anniversary of her death

Written by on 26/08/2021

The statue of Princess Diana in Kensington Palace gardens will be specially opened to the public to mark the anniversary of her death.

The Princess of Wales died on 31 August 1997, and this year will mark 24 years since the fatal crash in Paris.

Special arrangements have been made to allow visitors to view the memorial – unveiled by her sons, princes William and Harry, last month.

The Duke of Cambridge (left) and Duke of Sussex unveiling a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
Image: The statue was unveiled by the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex in July

Due to the pandemic, Kensington Palace and its gardens are operating on reduced opening days and are usually only accessible to the public from Wednesday to Sunday.

But Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) said well-wishers would be allowed to see the statue from the Cradle Walk around the Sunken Garden where it stands from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday.

A HRP spokesman said: “We acknowledge that there will be interest in viewing the statue on that day.

“So we will be providing access to the Cradle Walk which is essentially the beautiful walkway around the Sunken Garden.

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“We will be opening that up, freely available, for passers-by or anybody who wants to stop and take a moment on that Tuesday, specially for the anniversary.”

Entry to the Cradle Walk will be free and visitors will not be required to make a booking. However, they will not be allowed to leave flowers at the base of the bronze tribute, nor approach it.

The statue is located in the sunken garden
Image: The bronze tribute will be specially opened to the public to mark the 24th anniversary of Diana’s death

Well-wishers usually leave flowers and messages at the ornate Golden Gates of Kensington Palace on the anniversary of her death.

The HRP spokesman said: “We didn’t want to take the shine away from the Golden Gates, and from the kind of tributes that we know will be there.

“It’s special for the group to have that kind of moment.”

The statue, commissioned by William and Harry who were just 15 and 12 when their mother died, is by renowned artist Ian Rank-Broadley.

It shows Diana, with short cropped hair and a style of dress based on the final period of her life, surrounded by three children.

Public access to the Sunken Garden has always been limited to the walkway – nicknamed “Nanny Walk” – after becoming a favoured meeting point for the many nannies in Kensington.

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

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