The controversial statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed in Harrods is to be removed.
The owners of the famous Knightsbridge department store have informed former owner Mohamed al Fayed, Dodi’s father, and he has accepted the decision.
When he sold Harrods for a reported £1.5 billion to the Qatari Royal Family in May 2010 he begged them to keep the statue in place.
But today Harrods told the Evening Standard that they had decided to return the memorial to its original owner, Mr Mohamed Al-Fayed.
The decision follows the announcement by The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry on plans to commission a new statue commemorating the Princess in the grounds of Kensington Palace.
Michael Ward, Managing Director at Harrods, said: “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al-Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past twenty years.
“With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr Al-Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace,” he added.
The memorial – both the statue and the foundation – had been left in place to commemorate the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi since Mr Al-Fayed transferred ownership of the store to its current owners. Both will now be returned.
Harrods is following due process with regards to the logistics of its return.
Immortalising Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed in bronze, this memorial has attracted thousands of people to Harrods to pay their respects.
Mr. Al Fayed erected the monument as a tribute to the couple after they died in a Paris car crash in 1997.
Called Innocent Victims, it shows Diana and his son Dodi with their hands raised towards a seagull.
Another memorial shows photos of Diana and Dodi and a wine glass smudged with her lipstick from her last dinner.
In 2000, Harrods severed its commercial links with the Royal Family on Mr. Al Fayed’s orders by removing warrants from its prestigious shopfront.
Workmen removed the warrants, which showed that the Royals buy goods from the store, from outside the Knightsbridge building.
The royal seal of approval was also removed from the store’s vans on ending of a 62-years of tradition.