Three years after it was commissioned by Prince William and Prince Harry, the statue of Princess Diana finally has an install date
More than 20 years ago, the world mourned the loss of Princess Diana, the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, and former princess of Wales, who not only accomplished much in her short life, but is also — and most importantly — mother to two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. To commemorate and honor the incredible life of their mother, Prince William and Prince Harry commissioned a statue three years ago; and today, they issued a rare joint statement that finally announces the statue’s installation date.
The much-anticipated statue of Princess Diana will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on a very special date: July 1, 2021, what would have been her 60th birthday.
“The statue that Prince William and Prince Harry have commissioned to commemorate their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, will be installed next year on what would have been her 60th Birthday,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
— Victoria Murphy (@byQueenVic) August 28, 2020
“This is a rare joint statement from William and Harry,” said ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy, per GMA. “And I think it shows that, while they have gone their separate ways professionally, they remain very united when it comes to honoring their mother’s legacy in this way.”
Prince William and Prince Harry commissioned the statue — designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, the sculptor behind the image of Queen Elizabeth, which has been used to decorate British coins since ’98 — on the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, writing that “the time is right to recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue.”
At the request of The Duke of Cambridge & Prince Harry a statue of Diana, Princess of Wales is to be erected at Kensington Palace. pic.twitter.com/zc4XvqlaSY
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) January 28, 2017
Initially expected to be installed last year, Kensington Palace put it on hold, saying that the “design stages of the statue of Diana, Princess of Wales have progressed but installation has been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the BBC reports.
“Our mother touched so many lives,” Prince William and Prince Harry said in 2017. “We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and legacy.”
Princess Diana died in August 1997 after a car crash in the Pont D’Alma Bridge in Paris. At the time, William and Harry were 15 and 12, respectively. Since, both Prince William and Prince Harry have spoken about the impact of her death on their lives. In the 2017 BBC documentary Mind Over Marathon, William said, “I still feel 20 years later about my mother, I still have shock within me 20 years later.”
More recently, Prince Harry opened up about his mother at a Sentebale charity event in January, saying, “When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing. You’ve looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us.”