A new statue of Diana, Princess of Wales has been commissioned by her sons, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, and the pair will come together for the unveiling. It has now been announced that Diana’s statue will be erected in the White Garden, previously known as the Sunken Garden, at Kensington Palace next year on 1 July to mark what would have been her 60th birthday.
Today marks the 23rd anniversary of Diana’s tragic death which took place in Paris in 1997. At the time, William was 15 and Harry only 12. Since then, they have always tried to keep Diana’s legacy alive and have shared an extremely strong bond until a couple of years ago, when sadly, the brothers’ relationship became strained and caused them to drift apart.
The Princes originally commissioned this special anniversary statue in remembrance of their mother in 2017; it is being created by well known British artist Ian Rank-Broadley who has worked in St. Paul’s Cathedral, The British Museum and also designed the portrait of The Queen which is found on all British coins to mark the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death. Princes William and Harry hope that the statue will inspire all visitors to Kensington Palace to “reflect on her life and her legacy,” adding: “Our mother touched so many lives.”
There have been several delays with the statue. One has revolved around the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex having a difference of opinion believed to be partly due to the strain on their relationship over the past couple of years, and the second is that the brothers both want to make sure their mother’s statue is perfect. The complications of the coronavirus pandemic have caused the third delay.
However, William and Harry have been in more contact recently as they want to finalise all the arrangements and details of Diana’s new statue. A royal insider said: “Everyone hopes that this could be the start of something new in their relationship which will help to heal old wounds.”
Since Diana’s passing, a number of memorials have been created in London to honour her life and legacy, including Hyde Park’s Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain and the memorial garden at Kensington Palace, the White Garden, which consists of only white flowers in memory of Diana’s life and style. This was created for the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death in 2017.