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Tuesday, August 31, 1999 Published at 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK


Crowds remember Diana

Some visitors to the palace have made their feelings clear

Thousands of people have been visiting Kensington Palace to mark the second anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Royal correspondent Jennie Bond: Princess's memory as important as ever
Hundreds of bouquets - as well as toys, candles and photographs - have been left at the palace gates, echoing the vast sea of tributes laid in the days after her death.

People have travelled from around the UK to pay their respects. Foreign visitors have also laid tributes.

It is understood that instead of clearing the flowers and messages daily, park officials will leave them for a week.

The BBC's Andrew Shaw reports on the public outpourings of grief
The princess died with Dodi Fayed and his chauffeur when their car crashed in a road tunnel in Paris on 31 August 1997.

Many people at Kensington Palace have called for a permanent memorial to the princess. More than 2,000 people have so far signed a petition.

[ image: The flowers are likely to be left for several days]
The flowers are likely to be left for several days
Organiser Jill Marseilles said: "Almost everybody who has been here has signed in support. We don't want anything too expensive or lavish, just a small fountain to remember her by.

"I was one of the first people to lay flowers here after her death and I am amazed there isn't anything permanent to mark her passing yet."

Initial plans for a memorial garden near the palace were abandoned when residents objected.

Andrew Purkis of the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fund: "There is a gap in the plans"
The Memorial Committee is instead refurbishing a playground in Kensington Gardens and will create a memorial walkway along the princess's funeral route, as well as a schools achievement award and so-called "Diana nurses", caring for children at home.

[ image: The palace gates are filling up with tributes]
The palace gates are filling up with tributes
The separate Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fund still has more than £75m invested but does not consider a permanent memorial to the princess to be part of its brief.

"She's forgotten by the establishment but remembered by the people," said Bryan Lewis, who had travelled from south Wales.

"It's sad that there isn't a permanent place for Diana's memory," said Sylvia Daniel and Jenny Pengely, who had come from Cornwall to commemorate the princess.

The public's views on a Diana memorial
One memorial to Diana is being launched in the shape of a new rose, brought out by the Royal National Rose Society.

The flower, England's Rose, is a creamy pink colour with an apricot blush and a delicate yet deceptively powerful fragrance.

David Austin, who bred the rose, said: "This is a rose of the greatest delicacy and charm. I can think of no rose more suitable to bear Diana, Princess of Wales' name."

About 5,000 plants will initially be released.

[ image: People have also been gathering at a makeshift memorial in Paris]
People have also been gathering at a makeshift memorial in Paris
It is thought Diana's family have been marking the anniversary with a low-key remembrance. Her sons, William and Harry, are at Balmoral, the Queen's Scottish home.

"There are no formal events marking the second anniversary of the death of the Princess of Wales," a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

The princess's brother, Earl Spencer, spent the day at the family home, Althorp in Northamptonshire, where Diana is buried.

In Paris, a few people gathered at the makeshift memorial by the underpass where the accident happened, but nothing like the crowds of last year.

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