Entertainment Celebrity Royal Princes William and Harry unite to unveil statue on Princess Diana’s 60th birthday
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Princes William and Harry unite to unveil statue on Princess Diana’s 60th birthday

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Princes William and Harry put aside their much-publicised differences as they unveiled a statue to their late mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday.

The brothers, whose falling out has been the subject of intense media focus, displayed a united front early Friday (Australian time) as they revealed the statue they commissioned in honour of Diana in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace in central London, her former home.

Diana was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997.

“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,” the brothers said in a statement.

“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.”

The bronze statue, by artist Ian Rank-Broadley, depicts the princess surrounded by three children to represent the “universality and generational impact” of her work.

Diana’s short cropped hair, style of dress and portrait are based on the final period of her life. Beneath the statue is a plinth engraved with an extract inspired by The Measure of A Man poem.

The unveiling marked a seemingly warm reunion for the brothers, who met in person for the first time since the funeral of their grandfather Prince Philip in May.

The pair exchanged greetings with members of Diana’s family, including her brother, Charles, Earl Spencer, and her sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes.

william harry diana
William and Harry seemed unaffected by their public rift. Photo: Getty

Royal rift

Harry’s British trip was only his second visit home since his shock move to the US in March 2020 with wife Meghan Markle and their baby son Archie.

The Duchess of Sussex remained behind in their luxurious home in Montecito, Santa Barbara, with Archie, now 2 and daughter Lilibet, who was born on June 4.

The Sussexes quit as senior working royals amid a desire to lead a more normal life away from the spotlight.

It has been anything but, with Harry plunging the monarchy – and the brothers – into crisis after the his and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March and subsequent claims in his new mental health docuseries with Winfrey.

There were damning claims of racism within the royal family ranks, with Meghan revealing “conversations about how dark his [Archie’s] skin might be when he’s born”.

Harry told Winfrey that royal life had taken a toll on Meghan and he had an increasingly distant relationship with his father, Prince Charles.

He also alluded to his fears that Meghan or Archie could suffer the same fate as Diana, who died in a car crash while being chased by photographers in Paris in 1997.

“My biggest concern was history repeating itself. And what I was seeing was history was repeating itself,” he said.

When the brothers commissioned their mother’s statue in 2017, the 20th anniversary year of Diana’s death, their relationship was strong, as they worked together to promote issues such as raising awareness about mental health.

-with agencies

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