news

Kensington Palace memorial garden opens marking 20 years since the death of Princess Diana

The princess, who lived at the palace for 15 years and took a keen interest in the garden, would often be seen admiring the changing displays

A new memorial garden has opened in the grounds of Kensington Palace to mark the death 20 years ago of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Named The White Garden, it commemorates the death of the princess two decades ago.

Diana lived at Kensington for 15 years while married to Prince Charles, and the palace is now home to her children Princes William and Harry, and grandchildren Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The White Garden is filled with white flowers and foliage inspired by memories of Diana’s life, style and image, such as her white “Elvis” Catherine Walker dress, currently on display inside Kensington Palace.

Formerly the Sunken Garden, it can be viewed from a public walkway and will be at its best until September.

The Princess lived at the palace for 15 years(Image: Historic Royal Palaces)

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the princess’s death, head gardener Sean Harkin said previous gardeners have told him stories about how Diana expressed an interest in the garden.

Kensington Palace was the home of Princess Diana for 15 years and there’s gardeners who aren’t here any more but remember, and told me stories, about when they were working here in the Sunken Garden.

“And they remember Princess Diana coming by and she would stop and she would admire the changing floral displays in the garden.

“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,” he said.

Recalling one particular story, he said: “I remember there was another gardener who told me a story about when he was walking along with a wheelbarrow with a fellow gardener. It’s really embarrassing, but he tripped.

Diana would often stop to talk to gardeners at Kensington Palace(Image: Coventry Telegraph Archive)

“He kind of fell over. It was over-weighted, the wheelbarrow, so everything kind of spilled everywhere. And Princess Diana was going by and turned around and said ‘Bad luck, chaps’, and kind of gave a smile.

“And they kind of smiled and found it really quite funny, but also it’s quite embarrassing when that happens.”

Diana: Her Fashion Story is currently taking place at the palace, and features some of her most memorable outfits, including the blue velvet worn when she danced with John Travolta at the White House.

Diana died in a Paris car crash in August 1997 when William was 15 and Harry just 12.

She was synonymous with the palace and mourners flocked to the residence to leave a mass of flowers.

Keep up to date with the latest news in west London via the free getwestlondon app.

You can even set it to receive push notifications for all the breaking news in your area.

Available to download from the App Store or Google Play for Android now!

View full mobile page