Prince Harry has arrived at Kensington Palace to be reunited with his brother William where together they will unveil a statue of their beloved mother on her birthday.
Prince Harry and Prince William today set aside their own differences to unveil a statue as a permanent memorial to their beloved mother on what would have been her 60th birthday as hundreds who loved the ‘People’s Princess’ gathered in vigil outside Kensington Palace.
The brothers were pictured standing shoulder-to-shoulder before revealing a statue created in Princess Diana’s honour by Ian Rank-Broadley and placed in the remodelled Sunken Garden, a place of solace and safety for her before she died in 1997.
The bronze made by Ian Rank-Broadley shows Diana with her arms around two children, and towered over the brothers as they revealed it to the world this afternoon.
Before the event, William appeared to be talking earnestly to his brother, who looked serious as they walked towards the ceremony in an area packed with 4,000 of Diana’s most-loved flowers and plants surrounding a rectangular pool of water.
Commissioned by the brothers in 2017 to memorialise their mother and mark the twentieth anniversary of her death, Kensington Palace said the princes ‘wanted the statue to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world, and help future generations understand the significance of her place in history’.
‘The statue aims to reflect the warmth, elegance and energy of Diana, Princess of Wales, in addition to her work and the impact she had on so many people,’ it added.
The portrait and style of dress featured was based on the ‘final period of her life as she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes’, they said. It added that the statue ‘aims to convey her character and compassion’. Beneath the statue is a plinth engraved with the Princess’ name and the date of the unveiling.
In front of it is a paving stone engraved with an extract after the poem The Measure of A Man by Albert Schweitzer, which was read at the 2017 memorial service marking the 20th anniversary of her death. It read: ‘These are the units to measure the worth Of this woman as a woman regardless of birth. Not what was her station? But had she a heart? How did she play her God-given part?’
The brothers, who have been split by Harry’s decision to leave the UK, were seen chatting in the grounds of Kensington Palace moments before the grand unveiling.
But what had originally been planned as a large celebration to mark her life has now been classed as a ‘private event’ – largely due to bad blood between the brothers and Harry’s determination to control media coverage.
They put their personal animosity to one side this afternoon at the private ceremony, which started at 2pm, and saw Diana’s sons gather along with the princess’ siblings The Earl Spencer, The Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and The Lady Jane Fellowes, in addition to the Statue Committee, the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, garden designer Pip Morrison and Chair of Historic Royal Palaces, Rupert Gavin.
Hundreds of mourners gathered outside from dawn with Diana’s fans travelling from all over the UK to west London for the poignant commemorative event today, with Harry arriving at 1.45pm – just 15 minutes before the grand unveiling. Read more: daily mail
Tell us what you think!
What do you think of Prince William and Prince Harry reuniting to unveil Diana’s statue? Do you have any memories of Diana to share? Tell us in the comments below!