Princess Diana honored with historic ‘blue plaque’ outside her London apartment

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Karu F. Daniels, New York Daily News
·2 min read
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Princess Diana’s former stomping grounds is officially a part of British history.

On Thursday, the charity English Heritage announced that it will honor the late Duchess of Cornwall with a “blue plaque,” which is a 155-year-old tradition that pays tribute to notable Britons.

The blue markers, which began in 1866, links notable people of the past to buildings where they lived and worked.

“We are expecting our plaque to Diana, Princess of Wales, to be very popular,” English Heritage Curatorial Director Anna Eavis said in a statement Thursday.

“She was an inspiration and cultural icon to many, raising awareness of issues including landmines and homelessness, and helping to destigmatize illnesses such as HIV, leprosy and depression.”

Though the charity didn’t designate where the plaque – for which she was nominated by the London Assembly – will be placed, Prince Charles said it will be at her Coleherne Court residence.

In 1980, Diana Spencer became a paparazzi magnet when the press caught wind of her romance with the future King of England. It was then at age 19, she lived in a flat given to her as an 18th birthday present by her parents in the West London suburb of Earl’s Court.

She was extremely popular when she was a part of Britain’s royal family between 1981 and her death in 1997.

On Twitter, Prince Charles thanked the charity for “commemorating such a very happy place for Diana in this way” on Thursday.

There are over 950 plaques throughout London – on buildings both humble and grand – honoring notable men and women who have lived or worked in them.

Reportedly, recipients must have been dead for at least 20 years and must have lived at the location they are being connected with for either a long time or during an important period.

Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, social reformer Florence Nightingale, artist Gwen Raverat, actor Peter Sellers, filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, writer J. R. R. Tolkien and even U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy have been honored with plaques.

“It seems fitting that we should erect a plaque commemorating her work and influence in what would have been her 60th year,” Eavis added.

English Heritage said five other women will also receive blue plaques: slavery abolitionist Ellen Craft, fashion designer Jean Muir, social reformer Caroline Norton, attorney Helena Normanton and peace activist Kathleen Lonsdale.

The organization prides itself as a protector of “an internationally-important collection of historic sites and [artifacts] which span six millennia, from the ancient past to the present day and include palaces, houses, hill figures, castles, abbeys, industrial sites, Roman forts and even deserted medieval villages.”