A SHOW OF UNITY: Princes William and Harry put aside their differences on Thursday as they unveiled the statue they commissioned of their late mother in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in London.
The unveiling, under gray (but thankfully not rainy) skies took place on what would have been Diana’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,” the princes said in a joint statement that was published on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Twitter feed.
“Every day we wish she were here with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy,” said the brothers, who also thanked the team who worked on the statue project over the past four years.
The event was low-key, with the brothers pulling a forest green cloth cover off the bronze statue, which was made by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, who has worked before with the British royals.
The princes did not give any speeches, but put on a very public show of unity as they unveiled the work, laughing and smiling at each other as the image of Diana, dressed in a knee-length skirt, button-front shirt and wide belt, was revealed.
The late princess is shown with her arms around the shoulders of two young children.
Only a small number of guests attended, including Diana’s two sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, her brother Earl Spencer, as well as members of the statue committee. The princes had commissioned the statue in 2017, 20 years after their mother’s death in a car accident in Paris.
No other members of the royal family were present. The brothers’ wives, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex, weren’t there, either.
Princess Diana often visited the Sunken Garden during her time living at the palace, and according to Kensington Palace, it was redesigned for the occasion, with the inclusion of 4,000 new flowers.
Many of the British — and royal watchers worldwide — were holding their breaths ahead of this event, wondering how the brothers would behave. William and Harry are at odds following the latter’s move to the U.S., and statements that he and his wife, Meghan Markle, made during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, accusing the royal family of racism.
Harry has also taken very public swipes at his father, Prince Charles.
This was the first time the two brothers were seen together following the funeral of their grandfather Prince Philip in April.