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Britain’s Princes William, Harry visit new memorial of Princess Diana

The White Garden, at Kensington Palace in London - the former home of the Princess who died in a car crash in Paris - has been created to mark 20 years since she died on August 31, 1997.

world Updated: Aug 30, 2017 21:08 IST
Press Trust of India, London
Prince William,Prince Harry,Princess Diana
Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince Harry look at tributes left by members of the public at one of the entrances of Kensington Palace to mark the coming 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in London on Wednesday.(AFP)

Britain’s Princes William and Harry on Wednesday visited a new garden memorial created in memory of Princess Diana for the first time to pay tribute to their mother on her 20th death anniversary.

The White Garden, at Kensington Palace in London - the former home of the Princess who died in a car crash in Paris-has been created to mark 20 years since she died on August 31, 1997 in a high-speed Paris car crash.

“The engagement will allow the princes to pay tribute to the life and work of their mother,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

“Together they will reflect on the significant achievement of the princess, and the legacy of her work which continues to resonate with so many today,” it said.

William was joined by wife Kate Middleton who was dressed in a bright green floral dress for the special occasion.

Timeline of Diana, Princess of Wales, who died following a car accident in Paris 20 years ago. ( AFP )

Sheltering under large umbrellas against the pouring rain, the princes and the Duchess of Cambridge met representatives from the charities supported by Diana, including Great Ormond Street Hospital, the National Aids Trust and the Leprosy Mission.

The White Garden has been inspired by memories of the Princess’ life, style and image, such as her white “Elvis” Catherine Walker dress and features thousands of white flowers such as white roses, scented narcissi and forget-me-nots around the already existing Sunken Garden.

The royals were met by head gardener Sean Harkin and shown some of Diana’s favourite flowers and were introduced to another gardener who knew their mother from her frequent visits to the garden of her former home.

The garden and the commissioning of a new statue of their mother were the two memorials chosen by William and Harry to mark the 20th anniversary of her death.

The statue will also be erected somewhere in the grounds of Kensington Palace in the future.

Announcing the artwork in January this year, William and Harry had said, “It has been 20 years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue”.

“Our mother touched so many lives. We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy,” the Princes had said.

The garden marks the fourth London memorial created in honour of Diana and joins the Diana Memorial Playground at Kensington Palace, the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, and the Diana Memorial Walk at St James’ Palace.

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (3L), his wife Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2L) and his brother Britain's Prince Harry (2R), talk with head gardener Sean Harkin (R), during an event at the memorial gardens in Kensington Palace. ( AFP )

Diana had died in August 1997 in Paris when William was 15 and his brother was 12.

The brothers have used the anniversary of the tragedy to speak out about their memories of their mother and pay tribute to her.

“There’s not a day that William and I don’t wish that she was still around,” Harry said during one of many television documentaries aired on British television in the last few weeks.

Kensington Palace, which was home to Diana at the time of her death, has already became a focus for her fans, who have started leaving floral tributes and pictures of the Princess at the gates.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 21:07 IST