World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain

Article Id: WHEBN0000846479
Reproduction Date:

Title: Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Diana, Princess of Wales, Diana Fountain, Green Park, Hyde Park, London, The Serpentine, List of public art in Hyde Park, London
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, in London's Hyde Park.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain is a memorial in London dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in 1997. It was designed to express Diana's spirit and love of children.[1]

The fountain is located in the southwest corner of Hyde Park, just south of the Serpentine lake and east of the Serpentine Gallery. Its cornerstone was laid in September 2003 and it was officially opened on 6 July 2004 by Queen Elizabeth II.[2] Also present were Diana's younger brother Charles Spencer, her ex-husband Prince Charles, and her sons William and Harry.[3]


  • Design 1
  • Construction 2
  • Controversy 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The Memorial Fountain area in Hyde Park.

The fountain was designed by Kathryn Gustafson, an American landscape artist,[4] and cost £3.6 million. Gustafson said she had wanted the fountain, which was built to the south of the Serpentine, to be accessible and to reflect Diana's "inclusive" personality. Gustafson said: "Above all I hope that it provides a fitting memorial for the princess and does credit to the amazing person that she was."[3]


The 545 individual pieces of Cornish granite were cut using sophisticated computer-guided cutting machines by S. McConnell & Sons, in Kilkeel, Northern Ireland.[2]

Although described as an oval stone fountain, it has the form of a large, oval stream bed about 50 by 80 m (165 by 260 ft) that surrounds, and is surrounded by, a lush grassy field. The granite stream bed is from 3 to 6 m (10 to 20 ft) wide, is quite shallow and is laid out on a gently sloping portion of the park, so that water pumped to the top of the oval flows down either side. One side of the stream bed descends fairly smoothly to the downhill end of the oval with gentle ripples; the other side consists of a variety of steps, rills, curves, and other shapes so that the water plays in interesting ways as it flows to the tranquil pool at the bottom. The two sides were intended to show two sides of Diana's life: happy times, and turmoil.


Detail of stream bed without water flowing.

Diana was seen as a contemporary and accessible princess, so the goal of the memorial fountain was to allow people to access the structure and the water for quiet wading and contemplation. However, shortly after its opening and after three hospitalisations caused by people slipping in the water,[5] the fountain was closed. It reopened in August 2004, surrounded by a new fence, and people were prevented from walking or running in the water by six wardens. Now, however, entering the water is once again permitted.

Even though the fountain was only open for a part of the 2004 season, and the weather was not particularly wet, the grass adjacent to part of the fountain was badly damaged, and it appeared that it would turn to a quagmire if heavy rain ever fell during the main visiting season. Thus, in December 2004, another alteration project was started. This involved work on the drainage, together with laying new hard surfaces on some of the most frequently walked areas of the site and the planting of a special hard wearing rye grass mix in others.

360 degree panorama
360 degree panorama

See also


  1. ^ Money down the drain? How Diana's fountain turned into a washout Guardian/Observer Retrieved 30 October 2007
  2. ^ a b "Diana Memorial Fountain". The Royal Parks. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Queen unveils new Diana fountain BBC, Retrieved 30 October 2007
  4. ^ "Diana Memorial Fountain". GardenVisit. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain". London Town. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 

External links

  • Aerial view
  • Description of fountain's design
  • BBC reports the reopening of the fountain

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.