In a ceremony redolent of the tributes left in memory of the Princess of Wales last summer, flowers and candles will be left at the foot of the photograph by children while a memorial service attended by Linda's husband, Sir Paul, will be held at the nearby St Martin-in-the-Fields church. The event has been organised by Linda's friend, the TV comedy writer Carla Lane, and is backed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which has given permission for Trafalgar Square to be used.
The quasi-religious nature of the event is being emphasised by the organisers, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta). A spokesman said yesterday: "The fans will hold candles and banners in honour of Linda, whom they have come to call 'the animals' angel'. On display will be a giant pair of angel's wings on which people can inscribe messages to Linda's family. A group of vegetarian children will lay flowers besides Linda's portrait."
With the organisers claiming that thousands of animal rights and vegetarian campaigners are expected to turn up, the scene is set for chaos in central London, with the tribute due at the same time as the West End is packed with people making their way to cinemas, theatres and restaurants. The police have warned that it will be a difficult event to monitor.
Peta, which has had the 8ft-high wings specially constructed for the event, says that Linda was "an icon in the humane movement".
Sir Paul McCartney and his family have fully backed the idea of a vigil from the start. "Paul is touched and genuinely moved that people have so much love for his wife," a family spokesman said.