Prince William and Prince Harry reunited yesterday, July 1, to celebrate their mother, Princess Diana’s 60th birthday. To commemorate the would-have-been milestone along with her 20 death anniversary, the brothers unveiled a new statue of the late Diana at the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, which also serves as the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The event itself was a private affair attended only by select members and friends of the Royal Family. This include the statue committee, garden designer Pip Morrison, Chair of Historic Royal Palaces Rupert Gavin, and, of course, The Princess’ siblings: Earl Charles Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorqoudale, and Lady Jane Fellowes.
Commissioned by William and Harry back in 2017, the Princess’ bronze statue was made by veteran sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley—who was also in attendance—the same artist who drew up the photo of Queen Elizabeth II that’s currently featured on all the coins in the United Kingdom.
In a joint statement for the special day, the brothers honored their beloved mother, saying, “Today, on what could 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 legacy.”
This isn’t the first time a memorial was built in Princes Diana’s name. In 2004, a fountain was first constructed at Hyde Park in London to honor her extraordinary life. That said, you may now be wondering: What exactly is the meaning behind the details of Lady Di's new monument?
True to her title of the "People’s Princess," Diana’s figure is surrounded by three children, “who represent the universality and generational impact of the Princess’ work.” While alive, she championed several causes, from HIV/AIDS awareness, to breaking the stigma on leprosy, to providing shelter for the homeless, and reaching out to terminally ill children in hospitals.
Meanwhile, the outfit of the sculpture itself represents a style that Diana often wore in the final years of her life. The Royal Family’s official statement expounds that it symbolizes a period in which “she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes,” while also conveying her “character and compassion.”
Fun fact: As per supporters of the late royal, the casual ensemble—a button-down shirt, pencil skirt, and oversized statement belt—could have been inspired by a photo of her donning a similar outfit for her 1993 holiday card with her sons, William and Harry.
Check out the sweet family portrait below.
To complete the monument is a paving stone placed in front of the statue. Engraved on it is an excerpt from the poem The Measure of a Man, which was used in a memorial service for the Princess back in 2007.
Watch the full unveiling of Princess Diana’s statue below.