The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry are to pay tribute to their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, with a visit to her memorial garden at Kensington Palace on Wednesday, the eve of the 20th anniversary of her death.
William and Harry, joined by the Duchess of Cambridge, will tour the White Garden , which has been planted in the Princess’s memory to mark two decades since she died.
Fans of Diana, who was killed in a Paris car crash on August 31 1997, have already begun leaving floral tributes and pictures of the Princess at the gates of her former home, Kensington Palace.
- Channel 4 defends controversial Diana tapes
- Princess Diana’s music collection among items to go on show at palace
- British princes William and Harry re-dedicate grave of mother Princess Diana
Her sons have spoken candidly about their mother for the first time in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of her death, describing the personal anguish they experienced and the grief they still feel.
Harry, interviewed for an ITV documentary about his mother, said: ”There’s not a day that William and I don’t wish that she was… still around.”
Diana was a woman whose warmth, compassion and empathy for those she met earned her Tony Blair’s description as the ”people’s princess”.
Her appeal remains undiminished and today she is still a British icon of the 20th century.
The garden at Diana’s former home is filled with white flowers and foliage and was inspired by memories of her life, style and image, such as her white ”Elvis” Catherine Walker dress.
It features white roses, scented narcissi and a carpet of forget-me-nots around the existing Sunken Garden, of which the Princess was particularly fond.
The royal brothers and Kate will be met by head gardener Sean Harkin and be shown some of Diana’s favourite flowers . They will be introduced to another gardener who knew Diana from her frequent visits there.
William and Harry will also meet representatives from the charities supported by Diana in the final years of her life, including Great Ormond Street Hospital, the National Aids Trust, The Leprosy Mission, Royal Marsden Hospital, English National Ballet and Centrepoint.
A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: ”The engagement will allow the Princes to pay tribute to the life and work of their mother the day before the 20th anniversary of her death.
“Together, they will reflect on the significant achievements of the Princess, and the legacy of her work which continues to resonate with so many today.”
When the temporary tribute was unveiled in the spring, Harkin recalled how the Princess would take the time to talk to the workers who cared for the sunken garden.
”They remember Princess Diana coming by and she would stop and she would admire the changing floral displays in the garden,” he said.
”And we change them over in springtime and in summer, so it can look quite different. And she would stop and she would have a chat with the gardeners and comment on all their hard work.” (PA)