On the eve of the 20th anniversary of Diana, Princess of Wales’ death, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry visited the White Garden tribute to her at Kensington Palace, before the brothers laid some of the public’s flowers on the palace gates.
William, Catherine and Harry made the short walk from their private residences around to the public sunken garden, where the display has been since May. Umbrellas were needed since the August weather was less than favourable.
One of the gardeners responsible for the floral tribute, Sean Harkin, who designed the display, and Graham Dillamore – who knew the Princess from working at the palace decades ago – met the Royals on their arrival.
The sunken garden was supposed to have been one of the Princess’ favourite locations, and now features white roses, lilies, gladioli, forget-me-nots, daisies and cosmos; the use of white is supposed to stimulate peace and encourage contemplative thinking, but also took inspiration from the creams and whites regularly seen in Diana’s wardrobes.
A spokesperson said prior to the engagement: “Together, they will reflect on the significant achievements of the Princess, and the legacy of her work which continues to resonate with so many today.”
Also attending the event in the White Garden included some of Diana’s patronages, those she continued to be affiliated with after her divorce. Child Bereavement UK, the Landmine Survivors Network, Centrepoint, Great Ormond Street Hospital, The Leprosy Mission, The Royal Mardsen Hospital, the English National Ballet and the National AIDs Trust were there in this capacity.
The Osteopathic Centre for Children was due a visit from The Princess of Wales in September 1997, which of course did not go ahead. They were also invited to the garden.
Later this year, the brothers have a statue of Diana planned for the grounds of Kensington Palace, in permanent tribute to her life and work.
Following their tour around the garden, the Duke, Duchess and Prince went to the gates of Kensington Palace, where members of the public have been laying flowers to mark the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, but also gathering to get a glimpse of the engagement.
William and Harry went and spoke to those there, even taking bouquets and cards to the gates for the public, and reading the tributes to their mother – sadly much like they had done in 1997.
A tweet from Kensington Palace said: “The Duke and Prince Harry are grateful for the many flowers, letters and messages they have received about their Mother.”
We expect this autumn to be busy for the royal trio, after tweets hinted at two tours in October and November for them, also following Prince Philip’s ‘retirement’.
Video: William and Harry place floral tributes from the waiting crowds outside the gates at Kensington Palace, Diana’s former home. pic.twitter.com/8Z34558noZ
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) August 30, 2017