Prince William and Prince Harry have been reunited at their childhood home, Kensington Palace, to honour their late mother with unveiled Princess Diana Statue
The brothers released a joint statement: “Today, on what would have been our Mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better.”
The statement continued, “Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.”
Showing appreciation for all those who have brought the garden and statue to life they thanked “all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive.”
The event featured a warm reunion between the brothers, who were last together at their grandfather’s funeral in May, as well as greetings exchanged with members of Diana’s family, including her brother, Charles, Earl of Spencer, and her sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes.
A statue dedicated to Princess Diana was announced in February 2017, 20 years since her faithful passing at age 36. Although the event has been in planning for a long time, unfortunately, it had to be scaled back due to ongoing COVID restrictions.
Other than close members of Diana’s family and the two brothers, statue committee members, the statue’s sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and Pip Morrison, the designer of the Sunken Garden were also in attendance.
Among those not in attendance were William’s wife Kate Middleton and Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, who stayed in California with the couple’s two young children: 2-year-old son Archie Harrison and their daughter Lilibet Diana, who was born on June 4. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall also did not attend.
It has been difficult several years between William and Harry, and hopes of the rift between them are healed have only gone down in the face of a global pandemic, making the few occasions they were together even rarer.
One such occasion was Prince Philip’s funeral, and while they briefly chatted while still in view of the public the situation quickly soured according to royal historian Robert Lacey saying that “within minutes of the siblings getting inside the castle and beyond camera vision,” they had “started quarrelling again.”
“There they were, at each other’s throats as fiercely as ever,” a friend of the family had told Lacey. “The rage and anger between those two have grown so incredibly deep. Too many harsh and wounding things have been said.”
Andrew Morton who had worked with the princess on her 19992 biographies Diana: Her True Story believes, and rightly so, that the ongoing feud between them would have made her “very upset”.
“Diana said to me quite clearly on several occasions that she saw Harry as the wingman for William in what ultimately would be a very solitary, sombre job as future king,” Morton said recently.
He also believes Diana would have taken an active role in repairing the rift that has appeared between them: “Knowing [the brothers’] personalities intimately, as a mother would do, she would be working out, perhaps with Prince Charles by her side, a way to reconcile them.”