Princess Diana statue: 'A symbol of her life and her legacy' - what monument means to William and Harry

·3-min read

Prince William and Prince Harry say a statue they have unveiled of their mother is "a symbol of her life and her legacy".

The brief ceremony took place in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on what would have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday.

It was a small family event also attended by her siblings, Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and Lady Jane Fellowes, as well as several other people including the artist behind the work, sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley.

The bronze statue was commissioned by William and Harry in 2017 to memorialise their mother and mark the 20th anniversary of her death in Paris.

They wanted the monument to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world, and help future generations understand the significance of her place in history.

The work, which is 1.25x life size, aims to reflect her warmth, elegance and energy, in addition to her work and the effect she had on many people, says Kensington Palace.

In the Sunken Garden, which was one of Diana's favourite places, she is surrounded by three children who represent the "universality and generational impact" of her work.

Her hands are gently placed on the shoulders of two of the youngsters - a boy and a girl, with the girl holding the princess's hand.

The third child is partially obscured on the right hand side when the piece is viewed from the front.

The statue shows Diana wearing a sleek open-necked blouse, a wide belt and a pencil skirt.

Her short cropped hair, style of dress and portrait are based on the final period of her life - following her split from the Prince of Wales.

The palace said she became more confident in her role as a humanitarian ambassador and the piece aims to convey her character and compassion.

Beneath the statue is a plinth engraved with Diana's name and the date of the unveiling.

In front of the statue is a paving stone engraved with an extract inspired by the poem The Measure of A Man.

It reads: "These are the units to measure the worth,

"Of this woman as a woman regardless of birth.

"Not what was her station?

"But had she a heart?

"How did she play her God-given part?"

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The princes hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother's life and her legacy.

There were no speeches at Thursday's event but the brothers released a joint statement.

William and Harry said: "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.

"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."

Mr Rank-Broadley said: "Diana, Princess of Wales was an icon who touched the lives of people right around the world, so it has been a privilege to work alongside Prince William and Prince Harry on this statue which commemorates her life.

"We wanted to capture her warmth and humanity while showcasing the impact she had across generations. I hope that people will enjoy visiting the statue and the Sunken Garden, and taking a moment to remember The Princess."

The monument was cast by Castle Fine Arts Foundry in the traditional "lost-wax" process, with a patina of a bluish green over black.

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