Princess Diana Memorial Fountain review
It was the kids I felt sorry for in Charles and Diana's titanic marriage battle -- and I'm not talking about Prince William and Harry. I'm talking about us, the poor old Brits who had fifteen years of their blue blood barneys and we still can't agree on who was right even now. The female half of the population tend to side with Di -- they see her as an innocent princess stuck in a loveless marriage, whereas the blokes just think she was a bit of a fruit loop. I will just say that she certainly seemed a bit 'high maintenance' (a bit like her concrete memorial, which seems to be in a constant state of roped-off repair).
You don't need to be a genius to see that the Royals didn't want much to do with the Princess Diana Memorial because it's tucked away in a lousy location. When you read all the bumph on the website they try and make the blocks of rock sound like sculptural art: they were shaped by "sophisticated computer-guided cutting machines" to express her "spirit and love of children", it says, whilst each half of the circular stream represents one side of her life: one half has been polished smooth to reflect the happy times whilst the other half is all ruts and gullies to represent the tumbling turmoil of her wilderness years. Even those three little bridges are imbued with secret symbolism: they let you cross over the troubled waters and "enter her heart".
It's a cold November morning and there's nobody here, just me and a few bored crows. Bronze Age man used to throw offerings into a river to appease their gods, but the only donations to Diana are an old Costa cup, a couple of crooked fag ends and a crumpled up sandwich packet that's floating like a boat. Wads of leaves are blocking up the bridge and turning the water into a bubbly brown foam.
I've just noticed an old lady standing beside the spindly winter trees. Most of the central grass has been fenced off with poles and rope because it's too slippery to walk on so she's stopped ten steps from the gate, and is staring into a cold waterfall of water. I wonder what she's seeing in there? It looks like she's replaying a memory of some sort. I wonder if she knows she's picked the wild side of the river to watch it.
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