The last time I was in London, Diana Princess of Wales was alive and making her last public appearance with her husband before they were to announce their split. My housemates and I had run over to a theater on Tottenham Court Road to see her leave. I can still remember the gasps as she exited the theater in a gorgeous pink dress. It wasn't a surprise to hear that the royal couple was going their separate ways: they didn't even walk together that evening.
It has been 14 years since Diana died in that horrible car crash in Paris. London has changed in many ways since then, one of them being that it's more difficult for photographers to take pictures out on the street and this appears to be partly caused by that night and Diana's mad dash to get away from the paparazzi. This was mentioned in a wonderful exhibit in The Museum of London on street photography. Today we saw some other evidence of the impact this Lady has had on her city in the form of a memorial playground built because of her love of children and a memorial fountain that young and old can get their feet into.
Adults without children can visit the playground only between the times of 9:30am and 10:00am. You can see that we thoroughly enjoyed this time. Even better on such a hot day? – the visit to the fountain. We could have spent hours wading along the “lazy river” type waterway, taking pictures of the water.
I wondered before I left for this country what it would be like without the People’s Princess. It is obvious that she is strongly remembered and missed. Somehow Kensington Palace seems to have lost much of its luster. That could be due to the landscape renovations occurring all around it, but I think it is due to the presence that no longer lives there. The Royal Palaces foundation seems to be trying to compensate for this by transforming the former home into an enchanted palace. I didn’t go inside, knowing that I would miss my princess adoring daughter too much.
|the enchanted garden|