William and Harry reunited at unveiling of Diana statue for her 60th birthday

The brothers remembered Diana’s “love, strength and character” at the unveiling

Prince William and Prince Harry unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace (AFP/Getty Images)
Prince William and Prince Harry unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace (AFP/Getty Images)

Princes William and Harry have jointly paid tribute to their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, saying “every day, we wish she were still with us” as they reunited for the unveiling of her long-awaited statue.

In the shadow of their mother’s likeness, William and Harry – divided on many issues – put on a united front.

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Princes William and Harry set aside their differences on Thursday on what would have been their mother's 60th birthday (AFP/Getty Images)

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At a glance: 5 key points

- The figure of the princess is surrounded by three children and depicts Diana, with short cropped hair, in the later years of her life

- The statue was unveiled on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday on 1 July

The statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, by artist Ian Rank-Broadley, depicts the princess surrounded by three children to represent the "universality and generational impact" of her work (AFP/Getty Images)

- Kensington Palace said the statue aims to reflect Diana’s “warmth, elegance and energy”

- Sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley’s artwork was erected in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden, one of the places Diana loved most at the Palace

- Members of the statue committee, who were tasked in 2017 with commissioning and privately raising funds for the creation of the statue cast in bronze, stood nearby

What’s been said

In a statement released after the brief ceremony, the brothers said: “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.

“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.

“Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, Pip Morrison and their teams for their outstanding work, to the friends and donors who helped make this happen, and to all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive.”

Background

With Diana’s siblings watching, William and Harry pulled away a green cloth covering the monument which will forever remind visitors to her former home of Kensington Palace about its most famous resident.

The troubled relationship of the royal brothers has made headlines around the world but as they entered the garden where the statue is positioned they mirrored each other, walking with their left hands touching their stomachs.

William and Harry appeared in good spirits throughout the event, laughing and joking with their guests and appearing at ease in each other’s company.

Covid restrictions had reduced the number of guests to just 13 and most were gathered between the garden’s side entrance and the statue, erected at the end of a large rectangle ornamental pond.