Thursday, September 28, 2017

Memorial Garden for Princess Diana

Kensington Gardens

Hello! You may be wondering where I have been and I hope you will forgive me for a very long hiatus. The reason for my absence is some happy family news: a new granddaughter (I now have two!) and a daughter who just got engaged. It's been a busy and wonderful summer. Now that it's fall  I am back at my blog and thought the first post should be about Kensington Gardens. It seemed like a good time to write about my visit last May in light of all the films and articles about Princess Diana on the 20th-anniversary of her death.

Kensington Palace is where Diana lived from the time of her marriage to Prince Charles until her death in 1997. And those gates are where all the flowers were laid -- more than a million bouquets -- in the days following her death. It just so happened that the day we visited was extraordinarily beautiful, one of those gorgeous English days with the bluest sky and huge fluffy white clouds. Prior to this our weather had been gray and chilly. We were delighted to be out and about looking at gardens on such a stunning day.

Kensington Gardens is adjacent to Kensington Park which is where we started our walk. Everyone in London seemed to be out that day enjoying the lovely weather. The statue in the distance is of Queen Victoria who also lived at Kensington Palace. We walked through these beautiful grounds and felt invigorated by the gorgeous sky and green parkland.

The historic sunken garden at Kensington Gardens is deservedly famous. The beds of flowers glimpsed through eye-catching arches cut out of the hedges are a treat to see. It's truly such a serene and inspiring place. And this year a white garden was planted in honor of Princess Diana. It closes at the end of this month and I am so happy to have made it to London in time to see this beautiful and moving tribute to Diana.

The gardeners planted white flowers and foliage including roses, scented narcissi and a carpet of forget-me-nots around the existing sunken garden.

They recalled that she was particularly fond of the sunken garden and would often come by to chat with them and admire the changing floral displays.

The white flowers really stood out in this beautiful setting and reminded me of the beauty and elegance of Princess Diana.

Looking through one of the hedged arches lining the perimeter

I enjoyed reading the articles and watching the documentaries about Princess Diana that came out last month. I also watched the film "The Queen" starring Helen Mirren which was about Diana's death and the response or lack of response by the Royal Family. I learned that she was complicated and flawed, filled with insecurity and anxiety, but that's what made her so relatable and real. She was the "people's princess" and is credited with modernizing the monarchy. One thing that was undeniable: she had star power. She was beautiful, photogenic and glamorous. I admired the way she used her celebrity to champion causes that benefited the marginalized, such as people suffering from aids in the early years. I'll never forget the photo of her holding hands with an aids patient and not wearing gloves. I think she would have loved the white garden planted in her honor at Kensington Palace. A garden by its very nature is ephemeral and the fact that it won't last forever made the seeing of it all the more special. Of all the memorials to Diana this may have been the most meaningful.

I would love to know if you got a chance to see this lovely tribute to Princess Diana!


  1. I TOO was there the end of MAY!I walked and walked but couldn't find this GADREN!!!!!!!
    Made me SO MAD!THANK YOU for showing me what I missed.......I either walked right by it or not far enough up!There were NO SIGNS that I SAW.........
    I watched a couple of the movies as well.........
    I feel her SONS have done HER PROUD!
    Plus, that KATE!!!!!She would have ADORED KATE!!!!!!
    I know I am PROUD of THE BOYS............with all that they had to endure and will for the rest of their LIVES.

    1. Yes,I agree with you, she would have been so proud! I'm sorry you missed the memorial garden and glad you could see it on my blog!

  2. So beautiful and no, I haven't been. It's amazing the impact and lasting effect she's had on people. I feel sad that she's not here to see her wonderful sons and grandchildren. Thanks for sharing the visit with us, and congratulations on your newest grandchild and the upcoming marriage.

  3. It has made my day to read your blog. I know you have been busy, but thank you. I watched several of the Diana specials. I remember also being in Paris just a few months after her death and the number of bouquets at the tunnel where her car crashed. She changed the world and made us all feel emotions we didn't even know we had.

    1. Judie, yes I agree and it was interesting to feel those emotions all over again on the anniversary. She touched something in all of us, that is for sure. xxoo

  4. Wow your photos are amazing! And an thousand congratulations to your family- what a wonderful time!

  5. Beautiful gardens and photos. Congratulations! Grandbabies are the best! I have enjoyed your photos on Instagram as well. Have a great weekend.

    1. You too, Bonnie. Wishing you a lovely weekend. Thanks for your kind words!

  6. It seems like just yesterday. 20 years. She would have been proud of her children. Congrats on the happy events in your family! ❤️