After a very public rift, seeing William and Harry together again felt like a return to the old days

·2-min read

The smiles were striking as the brothers walked into the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace where they lived with their mother.

Watching them it felt like a return to the old days, and the many engagements I've attended with them both bouncing off each other in a way that only brothers can.

They had the air of two men enjoying each other's company on what is an incredibly poignant day for them both, the day that their mother would have marked her 60th birthday.

They couldn't have appeared more relaxed as they talked to Diana's brother and sisters.

The small gathering and a friendly crowd, just what they needed after the very public rift that has blown up between them.

When they announced their intention to commission a statue back in 2017 - the 20th anniversary of Diana's death - it was anticipated that the unveiling would be a much larger public event.

It is, after all, designed to be a lasting memorial to recognise the impact their mothers work had on people in the UK and around the world.

Yes, COVID-19 restricted the numbers, but I suspect the small low key event is also how the brothers wanted it.

The limited number of press allowed inside for the unveiling was viewed by some as a sign of Harry's continued mistrust of the UK press.

But don't forget both brothers have reasons for being wary of the media attention, all sparked by how they perceived their mother was treated in the final years of her life. Because of that, William and Harry will hate the way that their every move was being dissected.

For them, this day was about their mother - and the statue itself certainly merited attention. Not just because it's been four years in the making, but because the design was striking and in some ways unexpected, with Diana surrounded by three children.

But it was a depiction that very much fits with how Harry and William have followed in her footsteps, using her position in the spotlight to shine a light on others in need.

As members of the Royal Family, they both know what it means to put on appearances for the sake of not feeding any further the stories about them falling out.

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Because of that, we'll never fully know if the apparent thaw in relations between Harry and William was a case of putting differences to one side for the cameras, and just for one day.

But one thing that will never be in doubt is their joint desire to publicly remember their mother, and their genuine love for her - now forever etched on this statue that they worked together to create.

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