Monday, August 1, 2011

The People's Princess

A cool teepee at the Memorial Playground

The only thing more popular in London than Will and Kate’s wedding seems to be Princess Diana. And why not? She was the beautiful, sweet kindergarten teacher who married a prince (though unfortunately not a prince charming), and then completely upended the royal family by announcing Charles’ infidelities, divorcing him, and running away with Dodi Al-Fayad, heir to the Harrod’s fortune.

Everyone has a soft spot for the people’s princess, including me. I’ll be the first to admit that while watching the royal wedding, I got choked up thinking how proud Diana would be of her son if she were there. And when we happened to pass by the tunnel where Diana passed away in Paris, a feeling of grief overwhelmed me; I had to turn away.

I like sheep. Can you tell?
So it was a really nice surprise to see how Londoners have kept her memory alive. The large expanse of greenery known as Kensington Gardens/ Hyde Park (two separate parks that really blend into one) is home to both the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground and the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain (redundant much?). The playground is a wonderland for little kids, with a pirate ship, teepees, cool musical instruments, tunnels, and even wooden animals. Exploring the playground made me wish that I was five again, just so I could truly appreciate the genius behind the Peter Pan inspired layout.

The Memorial Fountain is similar in that it caters to children and their parents. It is basically a permanent slip-and-slide in the park, except due to the fact that it’s made of hard stone, it is highly recommended you wade, not slide! Little kids in nothing but their underwear were running and screaming around in the cool water., with their parents joining in from time to time (in swimsuits, not underwear, thankfully).

A little girl at the Memorial Fountain, trying to
drink the water. Not the best idea ever.

I now want to move to London, marry a Brit, have cute little Brit babies, and take them to the Playground and Fountain everyday. Thanks Diana J

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