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Wednesday, November 11, 1998 Published at 20:04 GMT

UK Politics

Diana memorial garden scrapped

Kensington Palace became a temporary shrine for the Princess

Controversial plans for a Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Garden near Kensington Palace have been scrapped after people living nearby complained about the original proposals.

Instead the Diana Memorial Committee has opted for a playground and a memorial walk through London's parks near the palace.

Residents, MPs and councillors overwhelmingly opposed the original plan for an elaborate 2.7 acre site costing £10m.

[ image: Brown: Proposals are a
Brown: Proposals are a "fitting tribute"
They were concerned about the negative impact millions of extra visitors would have on the area if the garden went ahead.

Describing the new walkway, Chancellor Gordon Brown, the chair of the Diana Memorial Committee, said it will celebrate the princess's life and "will be one of the most magnificent urban parkland walks in the world".

The four parks connected by the walk will be Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James's Park.

Local concerns

Locals living near Kensington Gardens had been concerned that thousand of tourists would invade the area to start the walk.

But a Treasury spokesman said under the new plans Kensington Gardens will no longer be the main focus of the walks.

Diana's love of children is to be represented in the memorial gardens.

As the chancellor announced plans to improve the playground just north of Kensington Palace, he said: "This will create a play area where disabled and able-bodied children can play together."

Coins, angels and awards

Other initiatives to commemorate Diana, Princess of Wales, were also outlined by Mr Brown.

A commemorative coin will be released on 1 July 1999, the anniversary of the princess's birthday.

He added that plans for community children's nursing teams, to be called Diana's Angels, were coming to fruition.

A Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award, is also being organised for children aged between 11 and 18 years for community service or overcoming personal problems.

Mr Brown said: "The Memorial Committee feels that together these will form a fitting, long-lasting tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales which will recognise her unique contribution and the example she set."

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11 Nov 98†|†UK
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Internet Links

Buckingham Palace's Diana tribute site

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Diana, one year on: BBC special report

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