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The BBC's Jennie Bond
"The chlorination plant has been chosen as the perfect setting"
 real 56k

Friday, 29 June, 2001, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Diana fountain to go ahead
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana would have been 40 this year
A fountain in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales is to be built in London's Hyde Park - not far from her former home at Kensington Palace, the government has announced.

The 3m fountain on the banks of the Serpentine lake will transform the spot, presently occupied by a redundant chlorination plant and pumping house.

Diana, who would have been 40 this year, died in a car crash in Paris almost four years ago.

Tessa Jowell and Rosa Monckton
Tessa Jowell and Rosa Monckton survey the site for the fountain
Her friend, Rosa Monckton, said the princess used to walk by the Serpentine and liked the area where the memorial will be erected and "would have approved of the location".

A national competition will decide the final design of the fountain which is due to be finished by the summer of 2003.

It is not expected to include any statue or representation of Diana.

"It would be impossible to capture Diana in that way," said Ms Monckton.

'Fitting memorial'

The fountain will be paid for from public funds, partly met by the sale of official commemorative coins.

It is the latest initiative by the Diana Memorial Committee, headed by Chancellor Gordon Brown.

The chosen site for the fountain is on the memorial walk. Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, whose department will provide the funding for the project, said: "This is a lovely site and I think we can create a fitting memorial to Diana.

Peter Pan playground, Kensington Palace Gardens
An adventure playground opened last year
"The princess's family have welcomed the choice of a fountain as a memorial and it's up to us to now move forward and get it built."

Diana's brother Earl Spencer has endorsed the plan to honour his sister and it is understood, that members of the Royal Family also approve.

The decision to build a fountain rather than a statue as a memorial to Diana was first announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair in September 1999.

"It is very important that we honour the memory of someone who not only is very dear to people in this country but also achieved a lot," Mr Blair said at the time.

The fountain's site was chosen by the memorial committee from a shortlist of three locations in the Royal Parks.

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See also:

18 Jul 00 | UK
Funds for Diana fountain
30 Jun 00 | UK
Royals shun Diana memorial
18 Jan 00 | UK
Diana's walkway unveiled
23 Sep 99 | UK
Blair backs Diana memorial
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