Prince William and Prince Harry have announced their plans for a concert to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of their mother, Princess Diana. “It’s got to be the best birthday present she ever had,” William, 24, said Tuesday in a statement.
The Concert for Diana – which had been a subject of speculation for weeks – will take place at London’s newly rebuilt Wembley Stadium on July 1, which would have been Diana’s 46th birthday.
A formal church service will be held on Aug. 31, the actual anniversary of Diana’s death, and will be attended by both senior members of the Spencer family – Diana’s relatives – and the royal family, including the Queen, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles.
The princes took a leading role in organizing both events. “We both wanted to put our stamp on it,” William said in the statement. “We want it to represent exactly what our mother would have wanted – how she was and all that sort of thing. So therefore the church service alone isn’t enough.”
He continued, “We wanted to have this big concert full of energy, full of the sort of fun and happiness which I know she would have wanted. … The main purpose is to celebrate and to have fun and to remember her in a fun way.”
Duran Duran, Elton John, Bryan Ferry, Pharrell Williams and Joss Stone will perform, and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber will present a series of greatest hits from his musicals. The concert will also include a performance by the English National Ballet.
Proceeds will benefit Centrepoint, a charity that helps the homeless and which William supports, and Sentebale, a fund for the children of Lesotho cofounded by Harry. “They’re both charities that continue on from our mother’s legacy,” William said.
Also benefiting will be the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, which gives grants to communities affected by landmines, young refugees and others whom Diana worked to help during her lifetime.
The princes joked about how they were going to take an active part in the celebrations. Harry teased, “I hope that we can get the chance to see (William) dance.” Retorted his brother: “It’ll be a terrifying sight if we do.”
On a more serious note, Harry explained the purpose of the church memorial. “The service is going to include both sides of the family, our mother’s side and our father’s side – everyone getting together. It should be a good occasion and lots of loud hymns – I Vow To Thee My Country, all the good ones.”
Tickets will be available starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday at http://www.concertfordiana.com