Princes William and Harry shoulder to shoulder at unveiling of statue of Diana

·Royal Correspondent
·8 min read

Watch: Moment Princess Diana statue unveiled by Harry and William at Kensington Palace

Prince William and Prince Harry have reunited and unveiled a statue of their mother outside the palace she once called home. 

The brothers were joined by Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Lady Jane Fellowes and Charles, the 9th Earl Spencer, her siblings, at the small ceremony.

They were pictured walking side by side into the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, with Harry grinning, and looking relaxed.

Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah, and Lady Jane were pictured walking through the crowds which had assembled outside the palace to the event around 1.30pm on Thursday.

During the small, private ceremony, the statue was unveiled, including words on a paving stone underneath it which read: "These are the units to measure the worth 

"Of this woman as a woman regardless of birth. 

"Not what was her station? But had she a heart? 

"How did she play her God-given part?"

The verse is an extract after the poem The Measure of A Man, which featured in the 2007 memorial service for the princess. It has been adapted to read about a woman instead of a man.

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales in the Sunken Garden. (PA images)
The Duke of Cambridge (left) and Duke of Sussex unveiling a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The brothers unveiling the statue of their mother in the garden. (PA Images)

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In a rare joint statement Prince William and Prince Harry said: "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.

"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.

"Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, Pip Morrison and their teams for their outstanding work, to the friends and donors who helped make this happen, and to all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive."

William and Harry were greeted as they arrived at the garden by Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton who was the chairman of the small statue committee and could be heard laughing with him, setting a relaxed tone for the event. 

Lowther-Pinkerton was the brothers' right hand man for many years.

The Duke of Sussex after the unveiling a statue commissioned of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The Duke of Sussex looked relaxed and happy as he unveiled the statue. (PA images)
The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex were in conversation as they walked together to the garden. (PA Images)
The Duke of Cambridge (left) and Duke of Sussex unveiling a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
They took on the moment of unveiling together. (PA Images)
The Duke of Sussex greets Julia Samuel, founder of Child Bereavement UK, ahead of the unveiling of a statue of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The Duke of Sussex greets Julia Samuel, founder of Child Bereavement UK, ahead of the unveiling of a statue of his mother. (PA Images)

The brothers greeted their family members and members of the committee who attended the event, with Harry kissing his aunt Lady Sarah on both cheeks and greeted his other aunt Lady Jane and his uncle, the Earl Spencer warmly.

Harry and William took a side of the cover each, and William said "ready" before they pulled it down and the guests applauded.

In a comment after the event the sculptor, Rank-Broadley said: "Diana, Princess of Wales was an icon who touched the lives of people right around the world, so it has been a privilege to work alongside Prince William and Prince Harry on this statue which commemorates her life.

"We wanted to capture her warmth and humanity while showcasing the impact she had across generations. I hope that people will enjoy visiting the statue and the Sunken Garden, and taking a moment to remember the princess."

Explaining the statue, Kensington Palace said: "The statue aims to reflect the warmth, elegance and energy of Diana, Princess of Wales, in addition to her work and the impact she had on so many people. 

"The figure of Diana, Princess of Wales is surrounded by three children who represent the universality and generational impact of the princess’ work. The portrait and style of dress was based on the final period of her life as she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes and aims to convey her character and compassion."

The statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, by artist Ian Rank-Broadley, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London. The bronze statue depicts the princess surrounded by three children to represent the
The statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, by artist Ian Rank-Broadley, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, showing the three children around her. (PA Images)
The Duke of Cambridge (second left) and Duke of Sussex (second right) talk to, Rupert Gavin, Chairman of Historic Royal Palaces (left) and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (right) the former Private Secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and to Prince Harry, who sat on the statue committee, ahead of the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The Duke of Cambridge (second left) and Duke of Sussex (second right) talk to Rupert Gavin, Chairman of Historic Royal Palaces (left) and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (right) the former Private Secretary to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and to Prince Harry, who sat on the statue committee. (PA Images)
The Duke of Sussex (left), the Duke of Cambridge (right) and garden designer Pip Morrison, arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of the Dukes' mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The Duke of Sussex (left), the Duke of Cambridge (right) and garden designer Pip Morrison walk through the newly designed garden. (PA Images)
The Duke of Sussex ahead of the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The Duke of Sussex caught up with Julia Samuel who was on the committee to have the statue made and installed. (PA Images)
The Duke of Sussex (centre) with his aunt Lady Jane Fellowes and uncle Earl Spencer, at the unveiling of a statue of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Thursday July 1, 2021.
The Duke of Sussex (centre) with his aunt Lady Jane Fellowes and uncle Earl Spencer. It's thought he has not seen them in more than a year. (PA Images)

The statue is 1.25x life size, and was cast by Castle Fine Arts Foundry in the traditional “lost-wax” process with a patina of a bluish green over black. The cast is hollow and is supported by a stainless-steel armature, the palace team added.

Ahead of the event, Kensington Palace redesigned the garden, filling it with thousands of flowers including her favourites, forget-me-nots.

The flowerbeds were made deeper and the lawn extended to make the area calmer and more reflective.

The statue will be a permanent part of the garden, which was one of Diana's favourite spots. She lived in Kensington Palace throughout her marriage to Charles and after their separation.

It was first commissioned in 2017 and has been delayed in part by coronavirus. 

Charles Spencer, brother of Britain's Princess Diana arrives at Kensington Palace for the unveiling of a new statue to his sister on what have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday in London on July 1, 2021. - Princes William and Harry will unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana in the garden of Diana's former London home at Kensington Palace, in a stripped-back ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Charles Spencer, brother of Britain's Princess Diana arrives at Kensington Palace for the unveiling of a new statue to his sister. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Media crews broadcast from a designated area as fans and supporters gather to mark what would have been the 60th birthday of Princess Diana, at Kensington Palace on July 01, 2021 in London, England. Princess Diana would have celebrated her 60th birthday today had she not been killed in a car crash in a Paris tunnel in August 1997. At a ceremony today her sons William, The Duke of Cambridge, and Harry, The Duke of Sussex, will unveil a statue in her memory. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
Fans and supporters gathered to mark what would have been the 60th birthday of Princess Diana, at Kensington Palace. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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William and Harry have had a difficult relationship over the 18 months, with tensions particularly strained since Harry and Meghan announced they planned to step back from their senior royal duties in January 2020.

Even before that, Harry had said he and William were "on different paths", during an interview with ITV's Tom Bradby in South Africa in October 2019.

It has been suggested the feud started when Harry was dating Meghan, because William encouraged him to take his time. 

Reports in recent months have suggested William was furious when he heard allegations of bullying by Meghan of palace staff. She has denied the allegations, which were made public ahead of the interview she and Harry did with Oprah Winfrey. 

But ahead of the unveiling, biographer Omid Scobie said the rift was not as bad as some reports suggested.

The garden has been designed to be calmer to allow reflection. (Kensington Palace)
The garden has been designed to be calmer to allow reflection. (Kensington Palace)
The team have planted hundreds of flowers, including many of the princess's favourite. (Kensington Palace)
The team have planted hundreds of flowers, including many of the princess's favourite. (Kensington Palace)
Sarah McCorquodale (C) and Charles Spencer (R), siblings of Britain's Princess Diana arrive at Kensington Palace for the unveiling of a new statue to their sister on what have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday in London on July 1, 2021. - Princes William and Harry will unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana in the garden of Diana's former London home at Kensington Palace, in a stripped-back ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Sarah McCorquodale (C) and Charles Spencer (R), siblings of Britain's Princess Diana before the unveiling of a new statue. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP)

He told Good Morning America: "The relationship between Harry and William is still extremely complicated.

"From what I understand from sources it is just a case of distance. They're simply not talking at the moment and while there has been small communication leading up to this point through their relevant teams, this is really going to be the first time where they have a proper opportunity to chat to each other."

Rhiannon Mills, Sky's royal correspondent said the smaller ceremony was something the brothers wanted because of the strain in their relationship.

She said: "They all know all eyes are going to be on them.

"Harry is very well schooled when it comes to putting on appearances. Both brothers are wary of the press and will not want to stoke any stories about them falling out." 

Hello! editor in chief told Sky News that Harry's appearance at the WellChild awards on Wednesday was him in his element, saying he "was on brilliant form".

Rosie Nixon added: "It was great to see that spark in him in a place that felt very natural to him."

However she said the prince did not speak about the event on Thursday during the surprise appearance to the children's charity, of which he is still patron.

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