Diana Memorial Fountain - Hyde Park
Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park has been unveiled
by the Queen who was joined by Princes William and Harry as
well as Diana's brother Earl Spencer at the opening ceremony
Built close to Kensington Palace in the heart of London the
fountain has been placed next to a children's play area also
dedicated to Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997. It was
paid for by the Princess Diana Memorial Fund, which also gives
grants to those charities supported by Diana herself.
A large moat surrounding part of Hyde Park, the fountain is
built with anti slip stone so that children can play in the
water. Chief architect Kathryn Gustafson explained that the
fountain represented Diana's life. "There are all sorts of
fun things in the fountain that are turbulent and cascading
down, and champagne bubbles, and total calm, and playful.
There are many things about her personality that it hopes
to acknowledge and memorialise."
Unusual, to say the least, this is a memorial without a statue
and a fountain which doesn't even feature spurts of water,
but is nonetheless is an impressive contemporary feature,
covering a large area of the park and made with white Cornish
granite. The architects behind the fountain decided that rather
than create something to be stared at they wanted the memorial
to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
The £6.5 million structure has already become a bone of contention
with many saying that it isn't a fitting memorial for the
late Princess and others saying the money would have been
put to better use in building a hospital or another institution
in keeping with the causes supported by Diana. The fact that
the memorial flooded in a rain storm the day after it was
unveiled has not gone any way to silencing critics either.
Family and friends have expressed the opinion that the memorial
would have been appreciated by the Princess with the Queen
telling onlookers. "I think Diana would have enjoyed it and
I believe that she would want all of us to do so too."