Prince William and Prince Harry have reunited to honor their mother and unveil the Princess Diana statue at the redesigned Kensington Palace Sunken Garden after nearly five years of planning.
The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex remembered their mother with love as she would have celebrated her 60th birthday on July 1. The brothers said that there hadn't been a day when they didn't wish their mother was still with them.
According to BBC, William and Harry chose to put Princess Diana's statue at the Sunken Garden because it was one of her favorite spots in Kensington Palace, her official residence. She enjoyed taking walks on this site to smell the flowers and chat with the gardeners.
Five Years to Plan
William and Harry originally commissioned the Princess Diana statue for an unveiling in 2017, their mother's 20th death anniversary. They tapped the talents and expertise of sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and garden designer Pip Morrison.
However, the project was pushed back to 2021, in time for the princess' birthday. The statue's planning also involved the late Princess of Wales sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, and their only brother, Earl Charles Spencer. The latter were all present at the Kensington Palace event.
The unveiling was a low-key affair following the government's guidelines on public events. The brothers have high hopes that the public will see their gift for their mother as a lasting symbol of her life and legacy as the Princess of Wales who changed many lives.
William was 15 and Harry, 12 when their mother died in a car accident in Paris, France. She was regarded as the "People's Princess" who often broke from the royal protocols to make herself accessible to the public that adored her.
This is the second memorial for the Princess of Wales. In 2004, a fountain in her honor was also unveiled at Hyde Park.
Repairing a Broken Bond
The Princess Diana statue unveiling was the first time the brothers got together in public after their grandfather Prince Philip's funeral in April 2021. Marred by a rift and distance for the last two years, William and Harry appeared as a united front and were in good spirits during the short ceremony. Despite the media reports that the brothers haven't been on speaking terms, William and Harry were seen chatting with each other and the guests at the event.
According to the Daily Express, William even managed to make his brother laugh as they took down the covers of the statue. Witnesses said that William also told Harry that the tribute to their mother looks great in its "amazing little place," and then Harry responded with a positive remark.
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Body language expert Judi James said that both brothers showed signs of "reconciliation" despite this difficult and emotional moment. The brothers also gave each other a look that conveyed that this is how their mother would want them to remember "how things used to be."
Since 2020, Harry has been apart from William after deciding to give up his royal life. The Duke of Sussex has been living in California with his wife, Meghan Markle, and two children, Archie Harrison, two years old, and Lilibet Diana, one month old.
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