• Fleur Barton

Diana Princes of Wales Statue

Updated: Jan 28

On the 1st of July 2021 Princes Harry, Duke of Sussex and William, Duke of Cambridge unveiled a statue of their late mother, the Princess of Wales on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday had it not been for her death in a car accident in Paris in 1997.


The statue is located in the grounds of Kensington Palace which is at the western side of Kensington Gardens. Kensington Gardens is often confused with Hyde Park which although is directly adjacent is separated by a road known as West Carriage Drive. To the right-hand side of Kensington Palace quite hidden away is the Sunken Garden which is surrounded by a tree covered arched arbour. This provides a wonderful shaded tunnel with occasional viewing windows situated around the Sunken Garden.



Getting to the Diana Statue

The nearest tube stations are Queensway which is on the Central line (Red) or Bayswater on the Circle line (Yellow) to the north of Kensington Gardens or alternatively High Steet Kensington which is on the south side on the Circle (Yellow) and District lines (Green).


The following buses stop by Queensway tube station on the north side of Kensington Gardens - 148, 94, On the south side on Kensington High Steet there are routes 9, 23, 49, 52, 70 and 452.




When you can visit the Diana Statue.


The grounds of Kensington Palace are situated within Kensington Gardens, however they are locked outside of visiting hours. Currently Kensington Palace is open Wednesday to Sunday between 10am and 6pm.


You do not need a ticket the visit the Diana Statue and there is no charge to enter the grounds of Kensington Palace. If you are standing on the wide path known as the Board Walk by the statue of Queen Victoria, the Sunken Garden is off to the right.



If you enter by the main Palace gates, off to the right is a café and terrace. From here you can thread your way up a hedge lined winding path. Alternatively, there is a side entrance which is situated a few yards further to the right up the board walk where you can directly enter the gardens.



About the statue


The statue depicts Diana dressed in a blouse and pencil skirt with a wide belt, standing with three children. The informal outfit and dynamic stance shows her in a more everyday situation rather than a formal pose, something the Princes clearly requested when the statue was commissioned. The outfit very much resembles that worn on her first solo Christmas card after separating from Prince Charles in 1993.


Cast in bronze by Ian Rank-Broadley whose most notable works include the Armed Forces Memorial in Staffordshire along with a number of coins and medals for the Royal Mint, the statue has received mixed reviews from critics but has drawn large numbers of visitors to this corner of Kensington Palace. On the plinth of the statue, Diana’s name is engraved with the date of unveiling.



In addition, a poem chosen to remember Diana, Princess of Wales is inset in the paving.


These are the units to measure the worth

Of this women as a women, regardless of birth.

Not what was her station?

But had she a heart?

How did she play her God-given part?



The setting


Confusingly the garden is listed on Google Maps as the Princess Diana Memorial garden, but the statue resides within the Sunken Garden within Kensington Palace which is surrounded by what is known as the Cradle walk. The public does not have access to the Sunken Garden but can view it from the Cradle Walk.


The Sunken Garden


The Sunken Garden resembles the pond gardens found at Hampton Court Palace and dates back to the early 1900s, replacing a number of greenhouses and potting sheds. The location of the statue is significant in that Princess Diana often spent time there and regularly spoke with the Gardeners admiring the flower displays.



In anticipation of the statue the Sunken Garden flower displays were re-designed with over 4000 flowers to create a tranquill space to appreciate the garden and remember the Princess.


The Cradle Walk


The Cradle walk surrounds the Sunken Garden and is the only way to view the gardens which cannot be entered by the public. The Cradle Walk has also been known in the past as the ‘Nanny Walk’ given that it was a favourite meeting place for Kensington nannies although this was most probably during the era of large metal framed prams given that sightseers make up most visitors today.



In recent years a metal arbour was re-instated and a spectacular arch of red-twigged lime not only provides a wonderful shade against the summer sun but creates attractive windows into the Sunken Garden and framed views out over the Palace grounds and beyond.



Our Hotel near Kensington Gardens


Why not try our walking tour of Kensington Gardens, that takes in the Cradle Walk along with a number of magnificent sights along the way.


If you are looking to stay in the Kensington Gardens area, then check availability at the Lancaster Hall Hotel which is moments away from Kensington Gardens.


Diana Princess of Wales Statue Location


You can either click on the link below for the map which you can send to your mobile phone, or navigate from the map below


https://goo.gl/maps/obcqK3SzZVeex5dE9



Diana Statue Frequently Asked Questions.


Is the Diana Statue in Hyde Park?


It is a common mistake even among Londoners to mix up Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. Whilst immediately adjacent to each other they are separated by the West Carriage Drive. Noteably, Kensington Gardens is locked at night whilst Hyde Park remains open 24 hours a day.


Is it free to see the Diana Princess of Wales Statue?


Whilst there is a charge to enter Kensington Palace, it is free to enter the grounds and see the Diana statue.


What time does Kensington Palace open?


Currently, Kensington Palace is open Wednesday to Sunday between 10am and 6pm. Kensington Gardens is open from 6am every day of the year. The park closes around dusk which is 16:30 in December through to 21:30 in June.


Where can I park for the Diana Statue?


Most of the surrounding streets have resident permits and although there are pay and display spaces available these are charged at £5 per hour. On a Sunday and UK public holidays you can park for free on the single yellow line along the Bayswater Road.


How close can I get to the statue?


The Diana Princess of Wales statue sits within the Sunken Garden which the general public may not enter. The surrounding Cradle walk is open to the public and it is possible to get within a few metres of the statue.





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