New Harrods Owners Returning Princess Diana And Dodi Statue To Mohamed Fayed

The new Harrods owners are removing the bronze Princess Diana statue Queen Elizabeth's press secretary called 'tacky.'

Flowers and picture tributes to the late Diana, Princess of Wales hang on the gates at Kensington Palace in London, Saturday Sept. 1, 2007. Every year members of the public visit the palace to leave tributes for the princess who died in a car crash in Paris 10 years ago.
Kristy Wigglesworth / AP Images

The new Harrods owners are removing the bronze Princess Diana statue Queen Elizabeth's press secretary called 'tacky.'

The new owners of Harrods are returning the bronze statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed to former Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed. The three-foot statue of Princess Diana and Dodi, commissioned by Mohamed Fayed and called “Innocent Victims,” has been a feature of the main Harrods location shortly after the death of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed in 1997. But some people wonder why it took the new owners, the Qatari royal family, so long to remove the statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed from Harrods, and that includes Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary.

The Statue Of Princess Diana And Dodi Fayed At Harrods Had Critics

“I’m surprised it lasted for so long. I always thought it was tacky.”

Store bosses say they have spoken to Mohamed Fayed and told him that they will be returning the statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed to him, but they will not share his response or how he feels about the fact that the statue will no longer be on the first floor of Harrods in London, reports the Sun.

“It was personal to him and since it’s no longer his shop I think its fair the new owners give it back.”

A new statue of Diana, Princess of Wales has been commissioned by Prince William and Prince Harry and will be placed outside of Kensington Palace. The new statue will only feature Diana, Princess of Wales.

The New Harrods Owners Hope To Get The Royal Warrant Back By Removing Princess Diana Sculpture

Mohamed Fayed, 88, had a strained relationship with the British royal family after he made claims that Prince Philip ordered Diana’s assassination to stop her marrying Muslim Dodi Fayed. These claims caused Harrods to lose their royal warrant, and sources believe that by removing the statue, the Qatari royal family is trying to get it back. The Qatari royal family bought Harrods from Mohamed Fayed for £1.5 billion in 2010.

The Harrods location with the statue of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed is on the register of historic places, and so removing the statue will be difficult, as they need to protect the architecture of the building. The Fayed family has released a statement thanking the current owners of Harrods.

“We are grateful to Qatar Holdings for preserving the Dodi and Diana memorial at Harrods until now. It has enabled millions to pay respects and remember these two remarkable people. It is now time to bring them home.”

A New Sculpture Of Diana, Princess Of Wales Is Going Up At Kensington Palace

Michael Ward, the Harrods store boss under the new ownership, says that Harrods is removing the statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed now because the new statue of Diana, Princess of Wales is going up at Kensington Palace, according to the Guardian.

“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.”

Ward says that in deference to Prince William and Prince Harry, Harrods is removing the statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed.

However, Mohamed Fayed planned for the statue of Princess Diana and Dodi to remain at Harrods forever. Mohamed Fayed had given a speech when the sculpture was originally unveiled at Harrods.

“I have named the sculpture ‘Innocent Victims’ because for eight years I have fought to prove that my son and Princess Diana were murdered. This is a statue to stay here forever. Until now nothing has been done to preserve her memory and legacy. She was an amazing woman who brought joy to the whole world.”

The statue “Innocent Victims” of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed was designed by the Harrods artistic designer Bill Mitchell, who worked for the Fayed family for over 40 years.