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Dianas Prison

05 January 2013
“Do you want to go and see Bucks Palace”? Mark asked me one morning on our trip to London.

“Hmmm I’d much rather see Kensington actually”, I told him. I couldn’t wait to visit my first real palace and I also wanted to walk in the gardens where Diana had walked. I wanted to sense her grace and spirit and life in the grand rooms of the palace, where she’d lived with Prince Charles bringing up Wills and Harry for so many years. As with the rest of the world, I admired her so much for her humanitarian work that she had done and I wished somehow to pay homage to “The People’s Princess” in my own sort of personal way just by being there.

On the short walk in the park up to the palace, I was preparing myself to see a magnificent castle fit for any beautiful princess, yet when I finally caught my first glimpse of it, my heart sank, for it looked rather imposing and cold and depressing. “This is more like a military building than a stately palace”. I frowned.

Inside, everything celebrating Diana had been removed as well, so that only the rest of the royal family’s portraits hung on the massive fuchsia pink gallery walls instead. The only trace of her was in a little room off the ladies toilets, which was covered in silly caricatures of her in the wall paper design. “Typical”, I thought. “Diana was too popular for the royal family to accept. Pity they were so afraid of her”.

As we left the building and walked back up the garden to the front gates, we both turned for one last glance at the same time and decided that the red bricks and great imposing dark emptiness of the place felt more like Diana’s prison than her palace, which it was I suppose and that made us both a little sad. I wondered if that’s how it felt in other palaces too and decided my dream of living in a little two bedroom chocolate box thatched cottage with Mark would suit me much better than living here with old Prince Charles and all of the king’s men too thank you very much! As he squeezed my hand, Mark and I made our way back to the red double Decker bus, continuing our exciting adventure in England together and feeling like the luckiest lady in the whole wide world as well.

Mark + Claire xx