Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Progress on Proposals to Commemorate the Life and Work of Diana, Princess of Wales [November 1998]

The press release issued by HM Treasury on 11 November 1998.

The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Committee met today to consider progress on the four proposals set out in its preliminary advice to HM Government, published on 24 June.

Commenting on the progress made, Chancellor Gordon Brown said:

“I am delighted to outline progress on the proposals for community children’s nursing teams, awards to celebrate the achievements of young people, a memorial in Kensington Gardens and the commemorative coin.

“The Department of Health has today invited bids from local health authorities for teams for the first phase of this scheme. As this service expands across the UK, it will become a permanent memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales’s own care and compassion for children and their families especially in times of sickness. The Department of Health will make a detailed announcement shortly.

“The Memorial Committee was impressed with the detailed proposals developed by the Department of Health. We feel that, by providing hands on care and practical and emotional support, community children’s nursing teams will provide significant additional support to the care already available from the NHS and the voluntary bodies who have led the way in this area of care.

“Good progress has also been made on the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for young people at secondary school. The DfEE has received tenders from a large number of organisations to run the Central Awards Office which will administer the scheme. The bids are being analysed and a further announcement will be made in due course.

“The Memorial Committee have considered the results of a preliminary consultation exercise held locally on the early, outline proposals for Kensington Gardens. Having listened to local people, the Memorial Committee recommend that these proposals should be significantly improved.

“The Memorial Committee propose that a memorial walk through Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James’s Park should be established to celebrate the life of Diana, Princess of Wales. This would be one of the most
magnificent urban parkland walks in the world passing many points of interest, with spectacular views across the Serpentine, St James’s Park Lake and across the Round Pond towards Kensington Palace.

“In recognition of Diana, Princess of Wales’s love of children and in particular the disabled, the Memorial Committee have recommended that this memorial walk be complemented by improvements to the children’s playground to the North of Kensington Palace. This would create an area where disabled and able-bodied children could play together, dedicated to Diana, Princess of Wales. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will also consider how designs developed for the playground in Kensington Gardens might be used as a blueprint for children’s play facilities around the country.

“It is also intended that necessary repair work in the Dial Walk area South of Kensington Palace should be implemented.  This will help accommodate the extra numbers who, surveys confirm, continue to visit that area.

“The Royal Parks Agency will be asked to take these proposals forward. And they will do so in close consultation with the local authorities and local residents’ groups.

“The commemorative coin will be released for general circulation on 1 July 1999, the anniversary of the birthday of Diana, Princess of Wales. Collector versions will be available from early next year. The proceeds from the sale of the commemorative coin will go towards the memorials recommended by the Memorial Committee and the ongoing costs
will be met by the Government.

“On behalf of the Memorial Committee, I should like to thank Frank Dobson, David Blunkett, Chris Smith and all the agencies involved for the work which has been done to develop all four proposals so promptly.

“The Memorial Committee feels that, together, these will form a fitting, long-lasting national tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales which will recognise her unique contribution and the example that she set, particularly in enriching the lives of children and encouraging them to play the fullest possible part in the life of their communities.”