Diana statue unveiling: Everything you need to know as Princes Harry and William to unite for special day

·3-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

A statue of Princess Diana will be put on display to celebrate what would have been her 60th birthday.

Her sons, Princes Harry and William, will reunite to front the unveiling ceremony at the Sunken Garden, in Kensington, London on July 1.

What have Prince Harry and William said about the statue?

Prince Harry and William hope the statue will immortalise their mother and her legacy as the people’s princess.

In 2020, a joint statement from Kensington Palace read: “The princes hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and legacy.

The brothers revealed they had commissioned a statue in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death.

Harry and William said the statue would recognise their mother’s positive impact in the UK.

“It has been 20 years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue.”

Prince Harry and William hope the statue will immortalise their mother’s life and legacy as the people’s princess (PA Media)
Prince Harry and William hope the statue will immortalise their mother’s life and legacy as the people’s princess (PA Media)

Who is the artist behind the statue?

Artist Ian Rank-Broadley was chosen to design the statue.

In a joint statement, Harry and William said: “Ian is an extremely gifted sculptor and we know that he will create a fitting and lasting tribute to our mother.”

The artist has royal connections, having completed the Armed Forces Memorial. His effigy of Queen Elizabeth II has been on Commonwealth coins dating back to 1998.

In his own statement, Mr Rank-Broadley said of the statue: “It is my sole and highest intention to fulfil the expectations of Their Royal Highnesses in creating a lasting and fitting memorial to their late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (PA Archive)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (PA Archive)

Where and when will the Diana statue be unveiled?

Plans to unveil the statue were initially delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The statue will be unveiled at the Sunken Garden, in Kensington, London on July 1. The Sunken garden is where Harry and Meghan Markle had their engagement photo shoot.

The garden was replanted with white flowers to celebrate Diana’s life in 2017.

Why was the spot chosen?

The Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace was reportedly chosen because it was one of Diana’s favourite places.

Diana spent much of her time in the green space surrounding the palace where she lived for more than 15 years. She loved flowers, especially forget-me-nots, white lilies, white roses, tulips, narcissi, and Cosmo daisies.

“She would stop by and talk to the gardeners when she was living here,” Sean Harkin, head gardener at Kensington Palace, told Vogue.

“She might be going out for a jog or a walk in the park and if it was early and it was quiet, she would have a chat with them.”

He added: “I hope that the garden is joyful, a celebration of Princess Diana’s life. I’m hoping the people come, and they feel uplifted by the garden, remember how Princess Diana made them feel.”

The Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace was reportedly chosen because it was one of Diana’s favourite places at her home (PA)
The Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace was reportedly chosen because it was one of Diana’s favourite places at her home (PA)

What will the day look like and who will be there?

Diana, Princess of Wales’s sons will lead the guest list. Close family will also attend the unveiling.

Originally a huge ceremony had been planned but Covid rules have forced the princes to scale back the guest list.

Harry and William will reunite for the first time since Prince Philip’s funeral (Getty Images)
Harry and William will reunite for the first time since Prince Philip’s funeral (Getty Images)

The smaller gathering will include the Spencer family, according to the Daily Mail.

A larger ceremony will go ahead in September with stars, including Elton John and David Furnish who helped fund the statue, attending.

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