Twenty years ago, a Princess died in a tragic car accident in Paris. Her life and work among the less privileged in society had made her a worldwide name. Today, many people come to London wanting to see the places she knew so well.
Top of the list has to be St Paul’s Cathedral where Diana Spencer married the Prince of Wales. Scenes of her walking down the long nave to the altar and then returning as a Princess were seen throughout the world. Images of her in the elaborate flounced dress and massive train walking slowly down the great steps at the front of St Paul’s are some of the most memorable of her life.
You can follow the route the wedding procession took back to Buckingham Palace by strolling down Fleet Street, The Strand, through Trafalgar Square and along the Mall. At the far end of the Mall stands Buckingham Palace with the balcony where the famous kiss took place.
The Mall is also the site of other palaces she knew and lived in during her life as a Princess – Clarence House and St James Palace. Not far away and easily accessible from hotels in North London is Kensington Palace where she lived following her divorce. Now it is the home of her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. Prince William and his family actually occupy the suite that was once his mothers.
While at Kensington Palace don’t miss the exhibition of her stunning clothes which include some of the most iconic outfits such as the ink blue velvet gown. It was this dress that she wore when visiting the White House and danced with John Travolta.
Tourists travelling to London, can book a stay at a hotel near Wembley Arena and stroll out to the pretty gardens that surround the Palace. Diana, Princess of Wales was very fond of the gardens especially the Heritage Sunken Garden and was known to often stop and chat with the gardeners at work there. This year, in honour of the Princess, the area has been specially planted with flowers such as the white roses she loved. The plant design has been created to reflect her style and image.
It was from Kensington Palace that her last journey began, en route to her funeral at Westminster Abbey.
You can also read: Best Places to see Ballet in London
Special memorials were created in Hyde Park to remember the Princess, focusing on her love of children. Close to the Serpentine, you can find the Diana Memorial Fountain, a twisting, winding flow of water in which children love to play. Equally popular with children is the nearby Diana Memorial Playground. The big Pirate Ship is always full of children’s laughter as are the play sculptures and other toys.
A Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk route map can be downloaded from the Royal Parks website. This highlights the many other places associated with her such as Spencer House, all of which are marked with a large rose plaque.