It was planned back in 2017
In January 2017, the brothers released a statement announcing their plans to commission a statue in their mother’s honour.
“It has been twenty 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. 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,” they said at the time.
Initially, the project was slated to be revealed the same year, but due to delays, a new date was later announced in August 2020.
“The statue will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking The Princess’s 60th birthday,” the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex announced at the time. “The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.”
It will be in Diana’s favourite spot
The commemorative statue will live in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace. This was her favourite spot of the entire palace, so it seems fitting to have her statue live there permanently.
Back in 2017, the garden was transformed into a breathtaking tribute to Diana to mark the 20th anniversary of her death. It featured a display of her favourite flowers including tulips, daisies, white lilies, white roses and forget-me-nots.
The palace’s head gardener Sean Harkin said the colour scheme was an intentional nod to the Princess and her love of white and creams, as seen throughout her own personal style choices.
A very famous sculptor has designed it
The statue has been very carefully designed by none other than British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. You might not know him by name, but he is incredibly famous in his own right given he designed the portrait of the Queen which appears in all British coins.
Both William and Harry have worked closely with Ian on the project since it was commissioned back in 2017. They have also set up a working committee to oversee the project.
A few key people will not be in attendance
As for who will be attending the grand reveal, there has been an array of mixed reports, but we have heard that several members of the Royal family will not be in attendance.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Meghan will not be travelling to London for the grand reveal.
“Meghan has just had a baby and has no plans to travel to London for the memorial event planned for the statue unveiling,” a source told the publication.
Prince Charles will also not be in attendance as he “doesn’t want to be a distraction,” per Entertainment Tonight.
As for Kate Middleton, it was originally believed that The Duchess would be in attendance, with a source telling The Mirror:
“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.”
However, The Daily Mail has recently reported that now only the Prince’s will be in attendance, joined only by Diana’s close family, sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and garden designer Pip Morrison due to COVID restrictions.
A Page Six source later claimed that Kate and Will “are planning a private family visit with their children and that private moment is far more important than the public rhetoric.”
The brothers are giving their own speeches
According to a source who spoke to The Sun, the brother’s were adamant about making separate speeches.
“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.”
However, they did release a joint statement. It read:
“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.”
The three children on the statue honour Diana's character
Once the statue was unveiled, many were curious to know who the three young children surrounding the late royal were.
According to People, the decision to include children was as a means to pay homage to "Princess Diana's special ability to bond with people, particularly young ones."
Kensington Palace said Diana had "gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes" and the statue "aims to convey her character and compassion."