Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics
Site Map

Wednesday, May 27, 1998 Published at 00:38 GMT 01:38 UK


Call for Diana garden to be scrapped

Last year mourners flocked to Kensington Palace

Hundreds of angry London residents have called on plans for a Diana, Princess of Wales memorial garden to be scrapped.

Residents at the meeting explain why they do not want the memorial garden
More than 250 residents gathered at a special public meeting held at Kensington Town Hall to oppose plans by the late princess's memorial fund for a 16-acre garden in the grounds of her former home of Kensington Palace.

Many fear it would draw hoards of tourists, increase traffic and push up pollution around the palace and neighbouring Kensington Gardens.

[ image: Alan Clark urged a more neutral stance]
Alan Clark urged a more neutral stance
It was the first chance they have had to comment on the controversial plans and many expressed strong opinions.

The art critic Brian Sewell, who lives in the borough, said: "The garden will be tacky, and nobody who lives in the area will like it. It will be simply a focus for silly tourists."

Although proposals for the garden are still at an early stage, estimates are that it would attract five million visitors a year.

Last summer, thousands of mourners swamped the grounds outside Kensington Palace to lay flowers in tribute to Diana.

But voices of dissent at the meeting were tempered by the Kensington and Chelsea MP Alan Clark.

[ image: Art critic Brian Sewell:
Art critic Brian Sewell: "It will be simply a focus for silly tourists."
Mr Clark urged residents to adopt a more neutral stance, which would give them a greater say over the final memorial.

"The people will come here and they will come here whether there is a memorial or not," he said. "I think it is very unlikely that there won't be any memorial to Diana in the borough.

"Total resistance is less likely to succeed than a campaign of attrition over a long period of time."

But he did complain that residents had been starved of information about the "design and impact" of the garden.

Speaking after the meeting, one resident said: "I think it's a terrible idea. Anybody who went through last September doesn't want another single tourist in Kensington Gardens ever again."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Relevant Stories

05 May 98 | Europe
'Feminine' memorial to Diana

03 May 98 | UK
Diana's 'rock' must leave palace

01 May 98 | UK
Diana memorial 'no Graceland'

26 Apr 98 | UK
Diana's mother backs fund 'concerns'

25 Apr 98 | UK
Trustees stand by Diana fund

Internet Links

The Royal Parks of London

The British Monarchy

The BBC's Diana tribute site

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online