Located in Hyde Park (not far from the Lido), this memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales, is designed as a ring of water – rather like a stream bed – with two cascades tumbling down to meet in a pool at the bottom.
The fountain, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in July, 2004, also features three bridges which lead into the heart of the fountain – a symbol, apparently, of Diana’s openness to people.
Designed by US architect Kathryn Gustafson, the fountain – which cost £3.6 million – is made of 545 pieces of Cornish granite, each of which was shaped using laser cutting technology before being pieced together using traditional skills.
Gustafson’s design was selected after more than 10,000 plans were submitted to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain Committee in 2002. The architect has been reported as saying she wanted the design to reflect Diana’s inclusive “personality”.
The fountain was briefly closed to the public shortly after opening in 2004 because of safety concerns but reopened with new guidelines soon after.
The fountain is located on the route for the the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Walk, which takes on four of the royal parks – Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park.
Diana, whose divorce from Prince Charles had only been finalised the previous year, died in a car crash in Paris in August, 1997, along with Dodi Al Fayed.
WHERE: Hyde Park (nearest Tube stations are Knightsbridge and Hyde Park Corner); WHEN: 10am to 8pm until end of August (check website for times after that); COST: Free; WEBSITE: http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/hyde-park/diana-memorial-fountain
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