Prince William and Prince Harry have reunited to dedicate a statue to their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales–a fitting tribute to a woman who left an indelible mark on British society.
The statue, which the brothers commissioned in 2017, was unveiled on Thursday afternoon, what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday.
With Diana’s siblings looking on, William and Harry removed a cloth covering the monument, which will forever remind visitors to her former home of Kensington Palace of its most famous resident. The princess figure is surrounded by three children and depicts Diana in her later years. The statue is meant to represent Diana’s “warmth, elegance, and energy,” according to Kensington Palace, while the children represent the “universality and generational impact of the princess’s work.”
“The portrait and style of dress were based on the final period of her life as she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes and aims to convey her character and compassion,” the statement continued.
The royal brothers did not speak during the ceremony, which was held in the grounds of Kensington Palace, with the statue serving as a memorial to their mother. Sculptor Ian Rank-work Broadley’s was installed in the palace’s Sunken Garden, one of Diana’s favorite spots at Kensington Palace. The space has been redesigned over the last two years and includes over 4,000 individual flowers, including forget-me-nots, which the princess adored.
“Diana, Princess of Wales was an icon who touched the lives of people all over the world, so it has been a privilege to work alongside Prince William and Prince Harry on this statue commemorating her life,” the artist said.
We wanted to capture her warmth and humanity while also highlighting the impact she had on generations of people. I hope people enjoy visiting the statue and the Sunken Garden, as well as remembering the princess.”
A paving stone in front of the statue is engraved with an excerpt from the poem The Measure Of A Man: “These are the units to measure the worth of this woman as a woman regardless of birth.” Not, ‘What was her station?’ but, ‘Did she have a heart?’ How did she carry out her God-given role?”’
It was William and Harry’s first public appearance together since their grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, died in April.
Diana’s brother and sisters were seen arriving at the palace together for the unveiling of her statue. Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and Lady Jane Fellowes made their way through the crowds to the princess’s former residence.
The number of visitors had been reduced to 13, with the majority gathered between the garden’s side entrance and the statue, which was erected at the end of a large rectangle ornamental pond. When William and Harry first arrived, they chatted with their uncles and aunts before walking into the immaculate garden together ahead of the brief ceremony.
Members of the statue committee, who were tasked with commissioning and privately raising funds for the statue’s creation in 2017, stood nearby.
Lady Sarah was a member of the committee, as were Diana’s close friend Julia Samuel, who is a godparent to Prince George, and John Barnes, chief executive of Historic Royal Palaces, the charity that looks after a number of royal sites.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, William and Harry’s former principal private secretary, chaired the committee, which also included Gerry Farrell, director of the Sladmore Gallery, which specializes in sculpture, and financier Guy Monson, a former trustee of the royal brothers’ charitable foundation.
Harry and William conversed casually with the guests, who included Pip Morrison, designer of the Sunken Garden, Gary James, head gardener at Kensington Palace, and Graham Dillamore, deputy head of gardens and estates at Historic Royal Palaces.
Rupert Gavin, chairman of Historic Royal Palaces, was also present.