Princess Diana super-fans made a pilgrimage to her statue at Kensington Palace today, with one getting up at the ungodly hour of 2.30am to start the journey.
People travelled from all over the country to visit the new statue, which was commissioned by Diana’s two sons Princes William and Harry.
The statue was unveiled at the sunken gardens on Thursday to mark would have been Diana’s 60th birthday.
It shows the late princess with three young children by her.
And now, on the first morning that the statue was open to the public to see, a host of people have shared why they travelled to see it and what they thought of the statue, reports My London.
Kensington Palace said the work reflects her “warmth, elegance and energy” and the “universality and generational impact” of her endeavours.
Maria Scott, 50, Newcastle
Maria travels to London every year on the anniversary of Diana’s birthday and also her death to pay tribute by laying flowers outside Kensington Palace.
Along with some friends who all share the same love for the late Princess, she is responsible for many of the floral arrangements and tributes outside the front gates.
For the long-time super-fan the memorial tribute was “emotional” and she thought they’d “done really well”.
Maria said: “When I first saw it on the news yesterday I wasn’t so sure, but when I came down today it’s absolutely stunning, it’s beautiful.”
Like many of the fans we spoke to, Maria loved the addition of the three children to the statue.
“It’s very Diana, she loved children. She looked after her brother, and after local children, and she used to be a nanny,” she said.
She’s always been surrounded by children and that is very, very fitting.
“She’s going to be remembered forever now.”
Terry Hutt, 86, Weston-Super-Mare
Love of all things Royal Terry Hutt has been a big supporter of the family for his whole life.
The 86-year-old, who has met many members of the Royal Family at various events, got up at 2.30am to travel to London to see the statue on the special occasion.
Speaking of the statue, he said: “To be quite honest I was surprised because I expected one person, and I saw four, and I thought that was fantastic.”
Wearing a sign that read “Diana, never forgotten”, he spoke fondly of the late princess, saying: “Diana was special.
“I think she would be pleased to see what has been installed.”
Margaret Tyler, 77, Wembley
Dressed in a bold Union Jack blazer, Margaret Tyler spoke of her adoration for the late Princess.
The 77-year-old had a special room in her house built as a shrine to the Princess when she died, which she says is “absolutely packed now”.
Once titled Diana’s “biggest fan”, Margaret said: “I was a big Diana fan ever since I first saw her. I’ve got all the magazines and books.
“She was just so very special. Others haven’t got that magic, it was born in her I think.”
Speaking of the new statue, she said: “I thought it was lovely because she wasn’t on her own. I think if she’d been on her own somehow that would have been worse.
“The fact she had children around her, I think that was a very good idea.
“The outfit was nice as well.”
John Loughrey, Streatham
Royal fan John Loughrey was very pleased with the new addition to Kensington gardens, and spoke of his long-time support for the family.
He said: “It is a fitting tribute to Diana. Her spirit will always be here. The statue is absolutely beautiful. It looks very much like her.”
“It’s good to have the children here because that’s what she did, she cared for children,” he added.
The avid supporter was pleased that Princess Diana could be immortalised in this way, and that she will be remembered for a long time.
He said: “For generations and generations to come in the future, they’ll know who Diana was, even in a thousand years time, because she’ll be always here in a lovely beautiful statue.
“God bless Princess Diana always.”