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The Diana Gate: A Brief History

A restorer applying gilt and finishing touches to the Kensington Palace gates | Photograph: Bolaji Babafemi


ighteen years after the untimely death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Kensington Palace gates unofficially named after her is almost unrecognisable from the wrought iron gates that bore hundreds of floral tributes which spilled into the surrounding gardens in 1997. But it still remains the focal point where her memory continues to be honoured on the anniversary of the Paris crash.

The extensive gates have since been pared back after a comprehensive redevelopment of Kensington Palace but still remains a magnet for Diana fans and tourists almost two decades since her passing. Some of her fans have confided in WLT the gates were downscaled to prevent the annual pilgrimage of her most ardent fans. There has never been any official word from the palace but nobody has ever been prevented from honouring the Princess’ memory with cards or bouquets of flowers every 31 August.

The gilt on the ornate gate is still restored periodically and the gates, though less grandiose still offers a great backdrop for tourists and visitors. It is one of London’s most visited spots for selfies during summer months. Kensington Palace is respectful of bouquets and card messages commemorating the Princess’ death and would leave the gates untouched for weeks after another Diana anniversary. As the 20th year anniversary after her death approaches [2017], it is unlikely the attitude will change. Although nothing is officially planned but expect a shrine from her loyal followers, most of whom will come from all over the world for the milestone.

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