Princess Diana‘s siblings reunited at Kensington Palace today for the unveiling of their sister’s statue on what would have been her 60th birthday. 

Lady Sarah McCorquodale, 66, Lady Jane Fellowes, 64, and Charles, Earl Spencer, 57, joined their nephews Prince William, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, for the intimate ceremony in the remodelled Sunken Garden.  

The warmth between the princes and their aunts was clear as they greeted each other with an affectionate kiss on the cheek. Lady Sarah beamed as she held onto Harry’s shoulder and appeared to whisper something into his ear.

Later Prince Harry, who appeared excited throughout the event, smiled widely as he shared a light-hearted moment with his aunts and uncle Charles. 

It is not known when the Duke of Sussex last saw his aunts and uncle. He was last photographed with Lady Sarah and Lady Jane at his son Archie’s christening in 2019. 

The brothers have stayed close with the aunts and uncle. All three of Diana’s siblings were guests at both Harry and William’s weddings, while they were the also included on the guest list of just 25 at Archie’s christening.

William and Harry put aside their personal differences and stood shoulder-to-shoulder to unveil the bronze statue of their mother in the Sunken Garden, which became a place of solace for Diana before her death in 1997.  The garden was replanted with 4,000 of Diana’s favourite flowers in honour of the event.  

Kisses for their aunts: Lady Sarah McCorquodale, 66, left, beamed as she greeted her nephew Prince Harry, 36, with a kiss on the cheek in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace. Right, Prince William, 39, with Lady Jane Fellowes, 64

Kisses for their aunts: Lady Sarah McCorquodale, 66, left, beamed as she greeted her nephew Prince Harry, 36, with a kiss on the cheek in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace. Right, Prince William, 39, with Lady Jane Fellowes, 64

Kisses for their aunts: Lady Sarah McCorquodale, 66, left, beamed as she greeted her nephew Prince Harry, 36, with a kiss on the cheek in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace. Right, Prince William, 39, with Lady Jane Fellowes, 64

Lovely to see you! Prince Harry shared a light-hearted moment with his uncle and aunts during the short event this afternoon

Lovely to see you! Prince Harry shared a light-hearted moment with his uncle and aunts during the short event this afternoon

Lovely to see you! Prince Harry shared a light-hearted moment with his uncle and aunts during the short event this afternoon

Precious moments: The aunts, Princess Diana's older sisters, looked delighted to see their nephews at the intimate event. The statue was unveiled in the Sunken Garden - one of Diana's favourite spots - on what would have been her 60th birthday

Precious moments: The aunts, Princess Diana's older sisters, looked delighted to see their nephews at the intimate event. The statue was unveiled in the Sunken Garden - one of Diana's favourite spots - on what would have been her 60th birthday

Precious moments: The aunts, Princess Diana’s older sisters, looked delighted to see their nephews at the intimate event. The statue was unveiled in the Sunken Garden – one of Diana’s favourite spots – on what would have been her 60th birthday

Family time: Prince Harry chats to his aunt Lady Jane Fellowes and uncle Earl Spencer at the unveiling of the statue today

Family time: Prince Harry chats to his aunt Lady Jane Fellowes and uncle Earl Spencer at the unveiling of the statue today

Family time: Prince Harry chats to his aunt Lady Jane Fellowes and uncle Earl Spencer at the unveiling of the statue today

Harry also spoke to Earl Spencer, his mother's brother, at the Spencer-dominated event, shaking his hand

Harry also spoke to Earl Spencer, his mother's brother, at the Spencer-dominated event, shaking his hand

Harry also spoke to Earl Spencer, his mother’s brother, at the Spencer-dominated event, shaking his hand

In good spirits: Earl Spencer, who oversees the family estate of Althorp, smiled as he chatted to Prince Harry today

In good spirits: Earl Spencer, who oversees the family estate of Althorp, smiled as he chatted to Prince Harry today

In good spirits: Earl Spencer, who oversees the family estate of Althorp, smiled as he chatted to Prince Harry today

The Duke of Sussex (centre) with his aunt Lady Jane Fellowes and uncle Earl Spencer, making them laugh

The Duke of Sussex (centre) with his aunt Lady Jane Fellowes and uncle Earl Spencer, making them laugh

The Duke of Sussex (centre) with his aunt Lady Jane Fellowes and uncle Earl Spencer, making them laugh

The Duke of Cambridge (left) and Duke of Sussex look at a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales

Admiring: Sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, Earl Spencer and Lady Sarah McCorquodale after the unveiling of the statue

Admiring: Sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, Earl Spencer and Lady Sarah McCorquodale after the unveiling of the statue

Admiring: Sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, Earl Spencer and Lady Sarah McCorquodale after the unveiling of the statue 

The statue, made by Ian Rank-Broadley, shows Diana with her arms around two children, and towered over the brothers as they revealed it to the world this afternoon.

During the engagement Harry clapped his hands with excitement before the sculpture was revealed. William appeared far more serious during the short ceremony and the awkward walk to the Sunken Garden.

In a joint statement released this afternoon, the brothers said: ‘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.’

They added: ‘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.

‘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.’  

 The Sunken Garden’s designer Pip Morrison was stood nearby and she could be overheard telling the royal brothers ‘It’s a collaborative effort’. When the two dukes got into place either side of the statue William said ‘ready?’ before they pulled off the cloth and the guests applauded.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales walking behind Diana, the Princess of Wales' funeral cortege in 1997

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales walking behind Diana, the Princess of Wales' funeral cortege in 1997

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales walking behind Diana, the Princess of Wales’ funeral cortege in 1997

Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, Earl Spencer, The Queen the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry attend the inauguration of a fountain built in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales in Hyde Park in 2004

Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, Earl Spencer, The Queen the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry attend the inauguration of a fountain built in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales in Hyde Park in 2004

Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, Earl Spencer, The Queen the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry attend the inauguration of a fountain built in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales in Hyde Park in 2004

The brothers smiled as at the same time they pulled away the green cover to reveal the bronze sculpture by Ian Rank-Broadley

The brothers smiled as at the same time they pulled away the green cover to reveal the bronze sculpture by Ian Rank-Broadley

The brothers smiled as at the same time they pulled away the green cover to reveal the bronze sculpture by Ian Rank-Broadley

The bronze made by Ian Rank-Broadley shows Diana with her arms around two children, and towered over the brothers as they revealed it to the world this afternoon.

The bronze made by Ian Rank-Broadley shows Diana with her arms around two children, and towered over the brothers as they revealed it to the world this afternoon.

The bronze made by Ian Rank-Broadley shows Diana with her arms around two children, and towered over the brothers as they revealed it to the world this afternoon.

A smiling Duke of Sussex after the unveiling a statue commissioned of his mother Diana

A smiling Duke of Sussex after the unveiling a statue commissioned of his mother Diana

A smiling Duke of Sussex after the unveiling a statue commissioned of his mother Diana

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling, putting aside any differences they've faced

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling, putting aside any differences they've faced

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling, putting aside any differences they’ve faced

Who’s who in the Spencer clan? 

The McCorquodales 

Sarah and Neil McCorquodale

Lady Sarah McCorquodale, 63, is the eldest of the Spencer children. She dated Prince Charles in 1977 and introduced the royal to her youngest sister. She married Neil McCorquodale, a farmer and former officer with the Coldstream Guards, in May 1980. 

The couple have three children and two grandchildren. 

The Fellowes

Lady Jane and Lord Robert Fellowes

Lady Jane Fellowes, 61, is Diana’s elder sister. One of her godparents is the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent.

She is married to Robert Fellowes, a former Private Secretary to the Queen and first cousin of Ronald Ferguson, the father of Sarah, Duchess of York.

In June 1999, Robert Fellowes was granted a life peerage as Baron Fellowes, of Shotesham in the County of Norfolk, after first being knighted as Sir Robert Fellowes. The couple have three children and four grandchildren.   

The Spencers

Charles Spencer and Karen Gordon

Charles, 53, the 9th Earl Spencer, is the most high profile of Princess Diana’s siblings. In his eulogy at Diana’s funeral, the journalist and broadcaster criticised the Royal Family and the Press on their treatment of his sister. 

In 1989 Spencer, then known by the courtesy title of Viscount Althorp, married his first wife, Victoria Lockwood, in Great Brington, Northamptonshire. The couple, who divorced in 1997, had three daughters and a son.

In December 2001 he married Caroline Freud, former wife of Matthew Freud. The couple had two children together, Edmund and Caroline. They divorced in 2007. 

Spencer married his current wife, Canadian-born philanthropist Karen Gordon, in June 2011 at the family seat of Althorp House. They have one child together, Lady Charlotte Diana Spencer, named after his sister. 

The couple reside at the Spencer ancestral seat, Althorp House, which he inherited on his father’s death in 1992.  

<!—->

Advertisement

Lady Sarah, Lady Jane and Charles, Earl Spencer, have all remained close to their nephews since Princess Diana’s death.

Charles and his wife Karen sat front row at Prince William’s 2011 wedding to Kate Middleton, with his three daughters and one son in the row just behind. In pride of place next to the Middleton family too was Lady Sarah and Lady Jane, while Lady Anne Wake-Walker, Diana’s aunt also had a place in the pew. Harry was also seen chatting to his uncle before the ceremony.

The Spencers were also in attendance at Harry’s wedding to Meghan in 2018.

In 2019, the Sussexes shared a photo of Archie’s christening, which showed the Duke and Duchess with their son and Lady Jane and Sarah alongside the Duchess of Cornwall, The Prince of Wales, Doria Ragland, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duchess of Cambridge in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle.

They didn’t attend the christenings of the Cambridge children, however neither did Charles’ siblings. 

Members of the statue committee who were tasked in 2017 with commissioning and privately raising funds for the creation of the statue stood nearby.

Lady Sarah was on the committee and her five colleagues included Diana’s close friend, Julia Samuel, who is a godparent of Prince George, and John Barnes, chief executive of Historic Royal Palaces, the charity which looks after a number of royal sites.

The committee was chaired by Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, William and Harry’s former principal private secretary, and it also included Gerry Farrell, director of the Sladmore Gallery, which specialises in sculpture, as well as financier Guy Monson, a former trustee of the royal brothers’ charitable foundation.

Guests also included Kensington Palace head gardener Gary James, and Graham Dillamore, deputy head of gardens and estates at Historic Royal Palaces. Historic Royal Palaces chairman Rupert Gavin also attended.

The statue was commissioned by the brothers in 2017 to memorialise their mother and mark the 20th anniversary of her death.

Kensington Palace said the princes ‘wanted the statue to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world, and help future generations understand the significance of her place in history’.

‘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,’ it added.

The portrait and style of dress featured was based on the ‘final period of her life as she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes’, they said.

It added that the statue ‘aims to convey her character and compassion’. Beneath the statue is a plinth engraved with the Princess’ name and the date of the unveiling.

In front of it is a paving stone engraved with an extract after the poem The Measure of A Man by Albert Schweitzer, which was read at the 2017 memorial service marking the 20th anniversary of her death.

It reads: ‘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?’

Hundreds of mourners gathered outside from dawn with Diana’s fans travelling from all over the UK to west London for the poignant commemorative event today.

Prince Harry arrived 15 minutes before the event and left after 90 minutes. It is not known if he was heading to Frogmore Cottage or Heathrow Airport to fly back to be with Meghan, Archie and Lilibet in Los Angeles.

Sources close to Earl Spencer have said that there is a hope that the celebration of their mother’s life and legacy will bring Harry and William together again after months of discord over the Sussexes’ decision to quit the royal family and subsequent interviews in which they publicly criticised the royal family.

However Omid Scobie, the Sussexes’ preferred royal reporter, played down the idea of a public reconciliation ahead of the event.

He said: ‘What we will see is two brothers being professional in a moment that is not about them. This is going to be a moment we see them put everything to one side. We will just see professionalism and nothing else.’

Reunited: Princess Diana's eldest sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale and younger brother Earl Spencer (right) arriving

Reunited: Princess Diana's eldest sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale and younger brother Earl Spencer (right) arriving

Reunited: Princess Diana’s eldest sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale and younger brother Earl Spencer (right) arriving

Close family: Earl Spencer with Lady Sarah (back to camera) and Lady Jane (in green, right) before the intimate ceremony

Close family: Earl Spencer with Lady Sarah (back to camera) and Lady Jane (in green, right) before the intimate ceremony

Close family: Earl Spencer with Lady Sarah (back to camera) and Lady Jane (in green, right) before the intimate ceremony

Remembering their sister: Earl Spencer follows his sister Lady Jane (foreground) to the Sunken Garden at the palace

Remembering their sister: Earl Spencer follows his sister Lady Jane (foreground) to the Sunken Garden at the palace

Remembering their sister: Earl Spencer follows his sister Lady Jane (foreground) to the Sunken Garden at the palace

Private event: Earl Spencer, Lady Jane (behind, in green) and Lady Sarah (back to camera) ahead of the ceremony today

Private event: Earl Spencer, Lady Jane (behind, in green) and Lady Sarah (back to camera) ahead of the ceremony today

Private event: Earl Spencer, Lady Jane (behind, in green) and Lady Sarah (back to camera) ahead of the ceremony today

Dapper: Earl Spencer looked smart in a suit and tie as he arrived for the event at Kensington Palace

Dapper: Earl Spencer looked smart in a suit and tie as he arrived for the event at Kensington Palace

Earl Spencer today

Earl Spencer today

Dapper: Earl Spencer looked smart in a suit and tie as he arrived for the event at Kensington Palace this afternoon

After you: Lady Jane (in front, in green) led the siblings as they made their way to the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace

After you: Lady Jane (in front, in green) led the siblings as they made their way to the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace

After you: Lady Jane (in front, in green) led the siblings as they made their way to the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace

Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale (right) and Lady Jane Fellowes (left) leaving Kensington Palace Prince

Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale (right) and Lady Jane Fellowes (left) leaving Kensington Palace Prince

Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale (right) and Lady Jane Fellowes (left) leaving Kensington Palace Prince

Harry and William are said to have barely spoken in the past 18 months

Harry and William are said to have barely spoken in the past 18 months

Harry and William are said to have barely spoken in the past 18 months

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

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

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

Outside the palace hundreds arrived to pay their respects to Diana on her 60th birthday

Outside the palace hundreds arrived to pay their respects to Diana on her 60th birthday

Outside the palace hundreds arrived to pay their respects to Diana on her 60th birthday

Friends hold homemade banners wishing Diana a happy birthday and declaring their love for her

Friends hold homemade banners wishing Diana a happy birthday and declaring their love for her

Friends hold homemade banners wishing Diana a happy birthday and declaring their love for her

The redesigned Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, home to the new Diana, Princess of Wales statue, which has been filled with more than 4,000 flowers and offers a "calmer and more reflective setting"

The redesigned Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, home to the new Diana, Princess of Wales statue, which has been filled with more than 4,000 flowers and offers a "calmer and more reflective setting"

The redesigned Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, home to the new Diana, Princess of Wales statue, which has been filled with more than 4,000 flowers and offers a ‘calmer and more reflective setting’

Diana statue by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley depicts princess with three children in the ‘more confident’ later years of her life – as it is unveiled to mixed reaction from the public

By RORY TINGLE and MARTIN ROBINSON FOR MAILONLINE and REBECCA ENGLISH FOR DAILY MAIL

A new statue Ian Rank-Broadley depicting Princess Diana in the ‘more confident’ later years of her life aims to reflect her ‘warmth, elegance and energy’, the sculptor said today – as it was unveiled to a mixed reaction from the public.

Well-wishers called the monument ‘lovely’ and ‘gorgeous’, while one Twitter user wrote: ‘Wonderful, I knew it would be Diana with kids.’

Royal expert Penny Junor told MailOnline: ‘I think it looks stunning. And I love the larger than life size and the fact that she has three children with her. It looks like a magnificent piece of art.’

However, others called the bronze unrealistic, with one commentator writing: ‘Ok, I’ll be the first to say it, I’m underwhelmed by the statue. Not a good likeness of Diana and what is she wearing?’

Well-wishers described the monument, unveiled by Princes William and Harry today, as 'lovely' and 'gorgeous' as one Twitter user wrote: 'Wonderful, I knew it would be Diana with kids

Well-wishers described the monument, unveiled by Princes William and Harry today, as 'lovely' and 'gorgeous' as one Twitter user wrote: 'Wonderful, I knew it would be Diana with kids

Well-wishers described the monument, unveiled by Princes William and Harry today, as ‘lovely’ and ‘gorgeous’ as one Twitter user wrote: ‘Wonderful, I knew it would be Diana with kids

Princes William and Harry were seen chatting together during the monument’s unveiling as they put aside their feud today to honour their mother in what would have been her 60th birthday.

The statue shows Diana wearing a sleek open-necked blouse, a wide belt and a pencil skirt, while her hands are gently placed on the shoulders of two of the children – a boy and a girl, with the girl holding the princess’s hand.

Mr Rank-Broadley may have taken inspiration from a 1993 Christmas card which shows the princess wearing the same top and belt, while one of her arms is also outstretched.

Rank-Broadley’s artwork was erected in the palace’s Sunken Garden, one of the places Diana loved most at the Palace.

The space has been redesigned during the past two years and features more than 4,000 individual flowers, including forget-me-nots which were adored by the princess.

The Christmas card from 1993, in which Prince William shows a remarkable similarity to his son, Prince George

The Christmas card from 1993, in which Prince William shows a remarkable similarity to his son, Prince George

The Christmas card from 1993, in which Prince William shows a remarkable similarity to his son, Prince George 

The princess is also wearing a similar outfit to the one on the statue in this 1995 pictured of her leaving Royal Brompton Hospital 

The artist 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.’

Diana statue sculptor crafted Queen’s head that appears on all British coins 

The statue of Princess Diana was created by renowned artist Ian Rank-Broadley,  whose effigy of the Queen has appeared on all coins in the UK and Commonwealth since 1998. 

The 69-year-old is one of the most renowned British sculptors, and produced a bronze depicting the harrowing realities of war that became the focal point of the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire.   

Harry and William selected renowned artist Ian Rank-Broadley (pictured) to carry out the work, which was unveiled in the grounds of Kensington Palace today

Harry and William selected renowned artist Ian Rank-Broadley (pictured) to carry out the work, which was unveiled in the grounds of Kensington Palace today

Harry and William selected renowned artist Ian Rank-Broadley (pictured) to carry out the work, which was unveiled in the grounds of Kensington Palace today

Born in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, the artist was educated at Epsom School of Art and the Slade School before continuing his studies at the British School in Rome. 

On his return to the UK he set up as a professional sculptor specialising in carved panels on monuments. In recognition of his talents he was made a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in 1996 and granted the Freedom of the City of London. 

Among his royal connections, he is a trustee to The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, which was set up by the Prince of Wales in 2005.  His works are in the permanent collections of the British Museum, London’s National Portrait Gallery, the Ashmolean Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge and St Paul’s Cathedral. 

The sculptor standing in front of the Diana statue today

The sculptor standing in front of the Diana statue today

The sculptor standing in front of the Diana statue today 

Announcing Mr Rank-Broadley’s appointment in 2017, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry said: ‘Ian is an extremely gifted sculptor and we know that he will create a fitting and lasting tribute to our mother.

‘We look forward to unveiling the statue, which will allow all those who visit Kensington Palace to remember and celebrate her life and legacy.’

<!—->

Advertisement

In front of the statue is a paving stone engraved with an extract inspired by the poem The Measure Of A Man: ‘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 bronze shows Diana with her arms around two children, and towered over the brothers as they revealed it to the world this afternoon.

Harry left after 90 minutes despite arriving just 15 minutes before the ceremony began, and during the engagement the Duke of Sussex clapped his hands with excitement before the sculpture was revealed, and was seen laughing and joking with his uncle Earl Spencer and Diana’s sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes.

At one point yelled across the garden with his hands cupped around his mouth and laughed uproariously as he larked around before making a sharp exit. It is not known if he was heading back to Frogmore Cottage – amid rumours he has organised a ‘lads lunch’ with friends – or whether he is heading to Heathrow to jet back to LA to be with Meghan, Archie and Lilibet.

But William appeared far more serious throughout the short ceremony and the awkward walk to the Sunken Garden with his younger brother after 18 months of barely talking.

In a joint statement The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex said: ‘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.’

They added: ‘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’.

‘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.’

Before the event, William appeared to be talking earnestly to his brother, who looked serious as they walked towards the ceremony in an area packed with 4,000 of Diana’s most-loved flowers and plants surrounding a rectangular pool of water.

Commissioned by the brothers in 2017 to memorialise their mother and mark the twentieth anniversary of her death, Kensington Palace said the princes ‘wanted the statue to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world, and help future generations understand the significance of her place in history’.

‘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,’ it added.

The portrait and style of dress featured was based on the ‘final period of her life as she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes’, they said. It added that the statue ‘aims to convey her character and compassion’. Beneath the statue is a plinth engraved with the Princess’ name and the date of the unveiling.

In front of it is a paving stone engraved with an extract after the poem The Measure of A Man by Albert Schweitzer, which was read at the 2017 memorial service marking the 20th anniversary of her death.

It 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 brothers, who have been split by Harry’s decision to leave the UK, were seen chatting in the grounds of Kensington Palace moments before the grand unveiling.

The statue shows Diana wearing a sleek open-necked blouse, a wide belt and a pencil skirt.

Her hands are gently placed on the shoulders of two of the children – a boy and a girl, with the girl holding the princess’s hand.

Sculpted by renowned artist Ian Rank-Broadley, the monument 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.

Beneath the statue is a plinth engraved with the princess’ name and the date of the unveiling.

In front of the statue is a paving stone engraved with an extract inspired by The Measure of A Man poem.

It reads: ‘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 delayed statue, which was due to be unveiled before the end of 2017, is situated in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, which was one of Diana’s favourite places.

Statue finally takes root in Princess Diana’s beloved sunken garden: Princes William and Harry worked with Kensington Palace team to re-design site of statue unveiling… filling it with glorious scented blooms adored by their mother

By Royal Editor For The Daily Mail

A haven of tranquility in bustling London, the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace was one of Princess Diana’s favourite spots for reflection.

She would often stop to chat to the head gardener as she returned from her morning jog, complimenting him on the floral displays and sharing a joke.

There is no more fitting place to unveil the only statue ever commissioned of the royal today on what would have been her 60th birthday.

And it is not only the statue, designed by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, that will provide a lasting memory of the princess, whose life was cut short in a Paris car crash almost 24 years ago.

Her sons Princes William and Harry have worked closely with the team at Kensington Palace to re-design the garden, filling it with glorious scented blooms loved by their adored mother.

Her sons Princes William and Harry have worked closely with the team at Kensington Palace to re-design the garden, filling it with glorious scented blooms loved by their adored mother 

Over 4,000 flowers have been planted, incorporating 50 varieties, including 100 of Diana’s favourite Forget-me-nots, 300 tulips and more than 500 lavenders.

There are more than 200 roses, 100 dahlias and 50 sweet peas. More than 400 metres of turf have been laid to complete the setting.

The layout and planting scheme was devised by garden designer Pip Morrison. It was then created by the gardens and estates team at charity Historic Royal Palaces.

Work began in October 2019 and since then five gardeners have spent 1,000 hours on planting.

The garden and statue of Diana will be free to view during palace opening hours from tomorrow, but will be roped off for the unveiling today.

Only William, Harry and a small group of Diana’s closest family will be present.

What had originally been planned as a large celebration to mark her life has now been classed as a ‘private event’ – largely due to bad blood between the brothers and Harry’s determination to control media coverage. 

Leave a Reply

WP Radio
WP Radio
OFFLINE LIVE
%d bloggers like this: