ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- A pristine stretch of beach in Antigua and Barbuda once frequented by Princess Diana and her young sons will soon bear the name of the late British royal, officials said Wednesday.
A three-mile (nearly five-kilometer) beach boasting powdery soft sands and tall coconut palms on the southern end of the once British island of Barbuda will be renamed Princess Diana Beach during a ceremony July 1 – the day she would have turned 50.
Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer's Cabinet recently approved the proposal from the Barbuda Council to rename the beach for Princess Diana, who died at age 36 in a 1997 Paris car crash.
Dorcas Beazer-Williams, tourism chairwoman for the Barbuda Council, said Wednesday that the panel hopes that Princess Diana Beach "will serve as a reminder of the hope and courage which is a significant part of Diana's legacy."
"Barbuda became a sanctuary for the princess, and she seemed to find solace in the beauty of the island," Beazer-Williams said.
Colin James, chief executive officer of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, said that "from a tourism standpoint it puts a spotlight on Barbuda with all the hype with the royal wedding."
Princess Diana's eldest son, Prince William, will marry Kate Middleton in London on Friday.
Some 1,900 people have been invited to Westminster Abbey for the highly anticipated royal nuptials, much like the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Diana in St. Paul's Cathedral.