Prince William and Prince Harry came together at Kensington Palace to pay tribute to their late mother, Princess Diana

By Lanford Beard
July 01, 2021 10:13 AM
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Prince Harry and Prince William have come together to honor their late mother, Princess Diana.

The brothers reunited at their childhood home, Kensington Palace, on Thursday, to unveil a statue depicting their mother with three children, reflecting Dian's work to support and nurture children around the world.

"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," William and Harry said in a joint statement released on Thursday.

The statement continued, "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."

Thanking the team who helped bring the statue and the garden to life, they also expressed their appreciation for "all those around the world who keep our mother's memory alive."

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales
Prince William and Prince Harry unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, at Kensington Gardens.
| Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex
Prince William and Prince Harry at the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, at Kensington Gardens.
| Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

The event featured a warm reunion between the brothers in their first time together since the funeral of their grandfather Prince Philip in May. They exchanged greetings with members of Diana's family, including her brother, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, and her sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes.

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales
Prince William and Prince Harry unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, at Kensington Gardens.
| Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

Plans for the Princess Diana statue were first announced in February 2017, the year of many commemorations of Diana's life, as it marked 20 years since she died in a car crash in Paris at age 36.

Thursday's event was scaled back due to ongoing COVID restrictions in the U.K. Among the attendees were close family members of Princess Diana, statue committee members, the statue's sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and Pip Morrison, the designer of the Sunken Garden.

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales
Prince William and Prince Harry unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, at Kensington Gardens.
| Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

William's wife Kate Middleton was not in attendance, nor was Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, who stayed in California with the couple's two young children: 2-year-old son Archie Harrison and their daughter Lilibet Diana, who was born on June 4. Queen ElizabethPrince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall did not attend.

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Diana, William And Harry School
Credit: Tim Graham/Getty

It has been a fraught several years been William, 39, and Harry, 36. The brothers have been embroiled in a rift that many hoped would be healed by rare moments of togetherness and family unity that have been made difficult amid the global pandemic.

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One such opportunity was Prince Philip's funeral.

And for a moment, they briefly chatted while still in view of the public outside St. George's Chapel, but then an argument broke out between William and Harry "within minutes of the siblings getting inside the castle and beyond camera vision," according to royal historian Robert Lacey, who has consulted on The Crown.

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This ongoing discord between her sons would have made Diana "very upset," according to Andrew Morton, who worked clandestinely with the princess on her 1992 biography Diana: Her True Story.

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales
Prince William and Prince Harry unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, at Kensington Gardens alongside palace gardener Pip Morrison.
| Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

And at the unveiling, it seemed the brothers were happily reunited, honoring their mother with a long-awaited moment of celebration and unity.