Tête-à-tête · The Wander List

When in UK: Paid respect to the late Princess Diana

I was 13 years old when Diana, Princess of Wales died. I can still remember the time when my Mother rushed to call my Aunt who lives in UK that Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris. We are seven hours ahead of UK so we got the news first.

I also remember my godmother based in Italy, who went to the Philippines and brought home the italian news papers that covered Diana. I saw all her paparazzi shots in yacht, in a swimsuit, even the rumored pregnancy photo. I saw it all.

When Princess Diana was laid to rest, I watched it on television together with the rest of the world. I know she was laid to rest at a private garden, and a card with the word “Mummy” was written on top of the coffin. I don’t know if it was Prince William or Prince Harry who wrote the card.

My late grandmother asked for a Princess Diana book that I also read. It was big, coffee-table type, in full color. It told her her life story and her fashion outfits. And every time I’m in a car and passing by a tunnel, whether in the Philippines or abroad, I am always reminded of Princess Diana’s car crash while being chased by the paparazzi in Paris.

I don’t remember how I got the information, but I know that the family of Dodi Al Fayed, Princess Diana’s boyfriend, own Harrods in London. It’s the most famous shopping mall and I also learned long ago that a statue of Dodi Al Fayed was built at the mall entrance to honor him.

So I told myself many years ago, if  I ever go to London, I would go to Harrods just to see that statue of Dodi Al Fayed.

Little did I know, it was not just  Dodi Al Fayed. It turned out that Harrods created a memorial for him and Princess Diana, commonly referred to as: The Diana and Dodi Memorial

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Just looking at this in person gave me goosebumps. People actually still go here to pay their respects. I was so surprised, amazed and at the same time, very glad that I did not think of googling what the place looks like prior to coming here. I even had to ask the guard where is the statue of Dodi Al Fayed, because I did not know that Princess Diana was with him.

Do you see the thing inside the pyramid? They said it’s the engagement ring that Dodi will give (or gave — I am not sure) to Princess Diana  and wine glass that was preserved and contained Princess Diana’s lipstick from her last dinner in Paris.

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There’s a huge black book that says “Condolence Book” where tourists get to write. We did not get to write in it as many tourists hover at the book as well. When we got home in Harrogate, I googled all things Princess Diana and relived the history and current controversies of the past.

We were able to sneak in a few minutes to check out the items in Harrods like the designer bags like Hermes, Vivienne Westwood, etc. They were all out in the middle kiosk for display.We were really running after time as we have to catch the tube going to the London Tower. I am so glad my sister and I were able to squeeze in some time to detour, just to make it to Harrods. Another thing in my UK Bucket List that I just crossed off the list.

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