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Wednesday, June 24, 1998 Published at 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK


Diana memorial garden backed by committee

The area earmarked for a memorial garden became an inpromptu shrine

The committee set up to vet memorials in the name of Diana, Princess of Wales, has given its backing to a controversial garden memorial.

Gordon Brown announces the committee's decisions
In an announcement made by Chancellor Gordon Brown in Downing Street, the committee revealed how it believed the life and work of Princess Diana should be commemorated.

The recommendations include a memorial garden in Kensington Gardens, subject to public consultation, and developing children's nursing teams to support ill children in their own homes.

The princess's compassion and love of children will also be marked by an award in secondary schools to celebrate the achievements of young people.

The 10-person committee also approved plans for a commemorative crown coin.

[ image: Committee chairman: Gordon Brown]
Committee chairman: Gordon Brown
Announcing the proposals, Mr Brown, who chairs the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Committee, said: "The Memorial Committee received over 10,000 suggestions for memorials to Diana, Princess of Wales.

"We were impressed by the range and quality of these, and by how many people from all walks of life put so much time and effort into developing and presenting them. That in itself is a tribute to the regard and depth of feeling for Diana, Princess of Wales across the community.

"The proposals which we have announced today were amongst the most popular and appropriate we received, and we expect them to be widely acknowledged as a fitting tribute to her life and work."

Concern for children and families

He added: "They recognise her concern for children and their families in times of sickness, when practical support and advice can often be as important as medical treatment.

"They also encourage children and young people, whatever their own circumstances, to take an active and exemplary part in the life of their local communities, particularly in helping the more vulnerable. "Members of the public wanting to remember Diana, Princess of Wales will continue to visit Kensington Gardens and the Memorial Committee feels that, in response to this, the gardens should be enhanced, in a sympathetic way, as a place of remembrance.

"A memorial walking route linking Kensington Gardens and St James's through the Royal Parks will provide a popular and healthy option for those wishing to visit the places closely associated with the Princess."

[ image: The committee meets at 11 Downing Street]
The committee meets at 11 Downing Street
The chancellor said it was "essential and right" residents and the wider public should have their opportunity to put forward their views on the proposal for Kensington Gardens.

With estimated running costs of £75,000, the landscaped garden would cover 16 acres in front of Kensington Palace. The area became an impromptu floral shrine to the Princess in the days after her death last September.

But last month disgruntled residents joined forces to oppose plans for the garden, which could draw five million visitors a year.

BBC Correspondent Khalid Javed describes the projects chosen to remember Diana
The idea of a £5 coin is likely to prove popular with the public.

The nursing proposal, already dubbed "Diana's angels", is expected to work alongside established schemes such as Macmillan nurses.

The committee was set up to advise the Government on how Diana's life could best be remembered.

Other members of the committee include Diana's former butler Paul Burrell, Diana's sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lord Attenborough.

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