PRINCESS DIANA’s sudden death in 1997 prompted huge amounts of donations to her Memorial Fund – and Sir Lindsay Hoyle wanted to honour the Princess of Wales with a striking national memorial.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle won the race to become Speaker of the House of Commons last night after serving as Deputy Speaker under John Bercow for nine years. He has often been lauded by both sides of the political spectrum for his calm and evenhanded approach. The veteran Labour MP, who resigned from the party after becoming speaker and will now stand as an independent MP for his constituency of Chorley has had a relatively quiet political life.
However, he came to prominence in 1997 in the months after the sudden death of Princess Diana when he called for a prominent national memorial to the Princess of Wales.
Sir Lindsay wrote to Heathrow operators BAA, urging them to change the airport’s name to Diana, Princess of Wales Airport.
He said at the time: “This would be an ideal way to keep Diana’s name constantly in people’s minds the world over.
“It would be a marvellous working tribute to her for her name to be associated in the years ahead with international travel.”
Sir Lindsay Hoyle; Diana, Princess of Wales (Image: Getty)
Sir Lindsay outside the Palace of Westmisnter with his rottweiler, Gordon (Image: Getty)
The Conservative leader at the time, William Hague, also added his voice to the calls for London’s Heathrow Airport to be renamed.
Mr Hague said: ”Heathrow is one of our main gateways to the rest of the world and other countries such as the United States and France have named airports their airports after major public figures.”
The campaign reportedly gained cross-party support at Westminster.
In another bid, the late Tory MP Sir Teddy Taylor called for the cancellation of the Millennium Dome at Greenwich and for an international children’s hospital to be built on the site instead.
Hyde Park’s Memorial Fountain (Image: Getty)
Sir Teddy said he had received hundreds of letters of support for the idea.
The discussion about permanent memorials to the late Princess of Wales started in 1997 when the public pledged thousands to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
A permanent memorial, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain, was opened by the Queen in Hyde Park in London on July 6, 2004, after work began in 2001.
However, it was initially beset by problems after three people were hospitalised in two weeks after slipping and falling in the water.
Children playing in the Memorial Playground (Image: Getty)
Kensington Palace’s Memorial Garden (Image: Getty)
It forms part of a trio of memorials to Diana that span the London park which surrounds the princess’ former residence, Kensington Palace.
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Walk spans seven miles and encompasses St James’s Park and Green Park, which surround Buckingham Palace, as well as Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens.
The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground is in Kensington Gardens, and was designed to be accessible for all children, including those with disabilities, to reflect Diana’s enduring passion for working with children during her lifetime.
Other memorials to the Princess also focus on children and young people.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement in the Memorial Garden (Image: Getty)
The “Diana Teams” of community nurses offer palliative care for children and young people from birth to 19 years, and supports children with complex health needs.
The Diana Award is the only charity set up in memory of the Princess of Wales, and it recognises young people who champion social change.
Kensington Palace opened a Diana Memorial Garden in 2017, 20 years after her death, and Prince Harry chose it as the site to officially announce his engagement to Meghan Markle that year.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK