Princess Diana statue

Erection date: 1/7/2021


{On the stone plinth:}
Diana, Princess of Wales

{On a paving stone in front of the statue:}
These are the units to measure the worth, of this woman as a woman regardless of birth. Not what was her station? But had she a heart? How did she play her God-given part?

This bronze, larger than life-size statue was unveiled by Princes William and Harry, on what would have been Diana's 60th birthday. It was a low-key event with no speeches or fanfare, the Covid pandemic being one reason.

Kensington Palace are quoted as saying that the statue is "based on the final period of her life in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes and aims to convey her character and compassion".  This justifies the presence of the children. The Palace are also quoted as saying "The statue aims to reflect the warmth, elegance and energy of Diana, Princess of Wales".  Mmm.

Our interest in the Princess while she was alive was slight, but no one could avoid the media onslaught and the endless flow of photographs. We all know what she looked like, and it wasn't like this.  Many members of the public are understandably disappointed that the statue fails to look like its subject.

Media commentators have been scathing.  In The Guardian Jonathan Jones refers to “aesthetic awfulness”, and “a spiritless and characterless hunk of nonsense”. He mentions that the face looks 'manly'.  We'd go further; to us the whole figure looks like a man in drag. We are at a loss to understand how the commissioners, including her two sons, could have approved this statue. 

The extract from the anonymous poem 'The Measure of a Man', was previously cited in the 2007 memorial service to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Diana's death.

This widely-disliked statue arrived just 8 months after the one "for" Mary Wollstonecraft. Something has gone badly wrong in the statue world.

Site: Princess Diana statue (1 memorial)

W8, Sunken Garden, Princess Diana Memorial Garden, Kensington Palace

The Sunken Garden was created in 1908 by Edward VII, in an area of the Palace gardens previously occupied by potting sheds and greenhouses. Its layout takes inspiration from the 17th century Dutch-style Pond Garden at Hampton Court Palace. When she lived at the Palance Princess Diana 'loved this garden' (to quote from plaques on many park benches), but the garden has been redesigned to provide an appropriate setting for the statue.

The garden and statue are free to view during normal hours. You cannot enter the garden, only see it from gaps in the surrounding hedge. To find it approach the Palace from the Round Pond, don't join the queue for the building but turn right in front of the café and then either walk up the steps or up the zig-zag slope. Yes, that's 'up' the steps or slope to the sunken garden. The royals really do live in a different reality.

This section lists the subjects commemorated on the memorial on this page:
Princess Diana statue

Subjects commemorated i

Diana Princess of Wales

Born Lady Diana Frances Spencer in Norfolk. Married the Prince of Wales at St...

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This section lists the subjects who helped to create/erect the memorial on this page:
Princess Diana statue

Created by i

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex

Royal prince.  Born St Mary's Hospital Paddington, second son (the spare) of ...

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Ian Rank-Broadley

Sculptor. Born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey. Personally selected by both Princ...

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William, Prince of Wales

Royal prince. Born St Mary's Hospital Paddington, first son (the heir) of Pri...

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