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Will Diana, Princess of Wales’s statue change the future of royal sculptures?

John Mathew Smith/CC/Wikimedia Commons

It was recently announced that the statue being designed to honour Diana, Princess of Wales will be installed on what would be Diana’s 60th birthday next year. This is the first joint venture by both her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry since it was reported that they had drifted apart.

The statue was commissioned by her sons back in 2017 to “recognise her positive impact”. The sculpture will be designed by artist Ian Rank-Broadley and displayed in the Sunken Garden of her former home, Kensington Palace.

Diana, Princess of Wales’s legacy in the world, is virtually unparalleled as she forged forward to bring light and awareness to everything from AIDS/HIV and homelessness, to landmine removal and drug rehabilitation. Yet, having an official statue is something not many royals, let alone those not born of royal blood, are honoured with and is typically only reserved for monarchs or their consort.

Some of the most famous British royals from various houses have statues all over the UK, predominately in London. Such examples include the sculptures of Queen Victoria at New Bridge Street, Buckingham Palace, Victoria Square and in Kensington Gardens.

Other monarchs to have statues include, Elizabeth I, Charles II, George V and George VI.

Many famous consorts have been honoured with statues, such as Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, in Queen Square, Bloomsbury, as well as Queen Victoria’s beloved husband, Prince Albert, who has three statues across the capital, most notably outside the Victoria and Albert Museum.

These monarchs and consorts have been immortalised for their greatness or goodwill towards their people. Yet, as there are so few to no sculptures in recognition of other royals who did not wear the crown, it is refreshing to see the move with the times over the installation of Diana’s statue.

Given that the late Princess of Wales will be remembered by generations to come by the installation of this memorial, it’ll be interesting to see whether future royals will be honoured in the same way, if they are perceived to have an impact on the same scale as Diana.