In a rare joint statement, Princes William and Harry announced that a statue in memory of their late mother, Princess Diana will be installed at Kensington Palace to mark her 60th birth anniversary. The royal brothers are believed to have become estranged from each other as Prince Harry stepped back from frontline royalty after his move to the US with Meghan Markle.
Last Friday, Kensington Palace issued a statement on behalf of them to announce that the memorial will be revealed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on July 1, 2021, and is expected to reunite the princes. “The statue was commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of her death and recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world. The princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy”, Kensington Palace said.
According to reports, while the design stages for the statue have been completed, the installation was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Princes William and Harry had announced their plans for the statue earlier in January 2017, saying “the time is right to recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue”. In December 2017, famed British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, whose portrait of Queen Elizabeth II has appeared on all Commonwealth coins since 1998 was revealed as the chosen artist. “We look forward to unveiling the statue, which will allow all those who visit Kensington Palace to remember and celebrate her life and legacy,” the princes had said in a statement at the time.
Princess Diana was one of the most adored members of the British royal family and is remembered fondly as the “People’s Princess” for her widespread popularity and global humanitarian efforts. While her grave rests on an island at her family estate at Althorp in Northamptonshire, which is not open to public access, Princess Diana, has several memorials in London, including the Diana Memorial Playground at Kensington Palace, the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, and the Diana Memorial Walk at St James’ Palace. A memorial garden, named the White Garden, was the latest addition when it was unveiled at Kensington Palace to mark the 20th anniversary of her death in 2017.