Saturday, June 30, 2012
Still the people's princess
By Sandra Harwitt
This memorial to Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed is in the Egyptian Room at Harrods.
I've had the good fortune to come to London so often that I don't feel as if I'm a tourist anymore.
I tend to skip the the visit to the Tower of London and watching of the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
However, I do tend shop and take in a museum or two when there's time.
One outing I always make when I go to the famous Harrods department store? Down the escalator to the Egyptian Room.
I, like many, go to see the Diana and Dodi Memorial, dedicated to Princess Diana and her boyfriend at the time of their death, Dodi Al Fayed. The two died in a Paris car accident on August 31, 1997. Dodi's father, Mohamed, the former owner of Harrods, set up the memorial.
The memorial features a photo of Diana and Dodi in an intertwined gilded frame, a fountain, candles and some floral adornment. The money thrown into the fountain is donated to the Al Fayed Charitable Foundation.
Two items are located in the glass pyramid case at the front of the memorial.
One item is supposedly the wine glass -- the last glass -- that Diana ever drank from while dining at the Ritz Hotel, owned by the Al Fayeds.
The second item is supposedly the diamond engagement ring that Dodi bestowed on Diana. Dodi's father, Mohamed, always claimed they were secretly engaged. No one has come forward to say they saw Diana wearing the ring and from the size of the diamond I assure you it would not go unnoticed.
Although Mohamed Al Fayed sold Harrods to the Qatari Royal family's company, the Qatar Holding Group in 2010, the new owners have kept the memorial in place. And tourists flock to it, taking pictures from the moment the store opens to closing time.