Princess Diana would have been 60 years old this July and English Heritage has found a very special way to celebrate the occasion as well as honour her lasting legacy.
English Heritage, a charity dedicated to caring for historical buildings and sites in the UK, announced that Diana's former apartment on Coleherne Court would soon receive its very own blue plaque from the organisation. Diana lived in this flat from 1979 to 1981 (the year she married Prince Charles).
These blue plaques are intended to 'link the people of the past with the buildings of the present' as well as note historical significance. Presently, there are over 950 blue plaques in London commemorating notable historical figures.
In response to the news, her brother Charles Spencer took to Instagram to share a few behind-the-scenes photos from the making of the plaque. In the caption, he doled out praise to English Heritage for honouring his late sister and made note of how special this apartment and time of her life was for her.
'Diana was so happy with her wonderful flatmates in her late teens,' he wrote. He also shared a photo of a template revealing the plaque's final copy. It reads: 'Lady Diana Spencer, later Princess of Wales 1961-1997, lived here 1979-1981.'
English Heritage noted exactly why Diana was a perfect candidate for a plaque: 'Lady Diana Spencer became one of world’s most famous women in the latter half of the 20th century and her untimely death brought about an incomparable outpouring of public grief. A cultural icon, she devoted much of her life to charity work, raising the issue of landmines and destigmatising conditions including HIV and leprosy. Her plaque, for which she was nominated by the London Assembly, will mark one of the buildings associated with her life before marriage.'
Five other women will also be receiving their own plaques this year. They include social reformer Caroline Norton, designer Jean Muir, former slave and campaigner Ellen Craft, barrister Helena Normanton, and scientist Kathleen Lonsdale. Currently, only 14 per cent of London’s blue plaques celebrate women.
'We are expecting our plaque to Diana, Princess of Wales to be very popular,' said Anna Eavis, English Heritage’s Curatorial Director. 'It seems fitting that we should erect a plaque commemorating her work and influence in what would have been her 60th year.'
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