Prince William and Prince Harry recently reunited at their grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral—their first face-to-face interaction in more than a year amid a your of tension. Philip’s funeral was a drama-free event minus a whole sartorial situation, and now William and Harry are scheduled to reunite again—much more publicly—in just a few short months for the unveiling of Princess Diana’s statue at Kensington Palace. The event will inevitably put a big spotlight on the brothers, who reportedly want to put aside their differences and focus on honoring their late mother. Here are all the details on the statue, including the location, design, sculptor, and date of the unveiling:
The Statue Will Be in Princess Diana’s Favorite Spot
Specifically, her favorite spot on the grounds of Kensington Palace, known as the Sunken Garden. Back in 2017, the Sunken Garden was turned into a beautiful tribute to Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death—featuring a display of her favorite flowers, like forget-me-nots, white lilies, white roses, tulips, narcissi, and daisies. Kensington Palace’s head gardener, Sean Harkin, said the color scheme was a nod to Diana’s love of whites and creams in her own personal style.
The Statue Will Be Unveiled on July 1, 2021
This would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday and is clearly a significant day for William and Harry—who announced news of the statue’s unveiling in a rare joint press release via Kensington Palace:
“The statue will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking the Princess’s 60th birthday. The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.”
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FYI, the brothers originally commissioned the statue back in 2017, saying in a joint statement, “It has been 20 years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue. Our mother touched so many lives. We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.”
Harry and William Have Put Aside Their Differences When It Comes to the Statue’s Design
William and Harry’s relationship has been strained (um, to say the least) in the wake of Harry and Meghan stepping away from royal duties—as well as their tell-all interview with Oprah. But they’ve reportedly kept things drama-free when it comes to approving designs for Diana’s statue. A source told The Sun:
“It will have been signed off by William and Harry, that much I do know. I know [sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley] did work closely with the boys and I think it will be incredible.”
The Sculptor Is Super Famous
Princess Diana’s sculpture is being made by Ian Rank-Broadley, whose extremely close-up face you can see below! You might not have heard of Ian, but you’ve definitely seen his work considering he designed the image of the Queen that is used on coins in the UK.
Harry and William Have “Insisted” on Separate Speeches
According to a source who spoke to The Sun, the brothers have “insisted” on giving their own speeches at the unveiling, prompting “concern” that their body language will make it seem like they aren’t presenting a united front.
“The brothers will be physically together for the ceremony but want to make their own personal addresses. You might have thought they’d go for a joint statement and speech but that’s not the case. Each has insisted on preparing their own. It is a big concern that their body language will suggest all is not well and they won’t present a united front.”
Meghan and Kate Will *Not* Be in Attendance
Meghan Markle just gave birth to her daughter, Lili, earlier this summer and won’t be attending the statue unveiling as a result. Entertainment Tonight had intel on Meghan’s plans to attend, with a source saying, “Meghan has just had a baby and has no plans to travel to London for the memorial event planned for the statue unveiling.”
Kate Middleton, on the other hand, was initially supposed to attend the event. The Mirror reported that Kate was going, with a royal source telling the outlet that “The Duchess has seen this project evolve from its conception and now to the finished article and undoubtedly wants to be there to support her husband. No doubt there will be tensions between the Cambridges and Harry, but they all recognize that despite the obvious and deep rooted issues between them, they want the day to be solely about the Princess of Wales’s enduring legacy.”
But over the weekend, The Daily Mail was told by Kensington Palace that only “the princes will now be joined only by Diana’s close family, the statue committee, the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and garden designer Pip Morrison” due to COVID-19 restrictions. A Page Six source later reported that Kate along with Will “are planning a private family visit with their children, and that private moment is far more important than the public rhetoric.”
Prince Charles Isn’t Attending Either
Per Entertainment Tonight, Charles is sitting out the statue unveiling because he “doesn’t want to be a distraction” at the event. Instead, Charles is traveling and “has made it quite clear he will not be around…because he is going to Scotland,” according to The Sun.
That’s all we know about Diana’s statue unveiling for now, but go ahead and check back in—we’ll be adding information as more news breaks.
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