Prince William and Harry unite to unveil Diana statue

The Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex have united to unveil a statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, saying “every day we wish she were still with us”.

William and Harry came together for a ceremony in Kensington Palace’s redesigned Sunken Garden, on what would have been their mother’s 60th birthday.

It was their first appearance together since the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April.

“We remember her love, strength and character,” they said.

“Qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better.”

They said they hoped the statue would “be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy” and thanked “all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive”.

The pair were seen laughing and talking animatedly with guests, who applauded as they pulled off a green cloth covering the statue.

They remarked on changes to the Sunken Garden, which Kensington Palace said had been “one of the princess’s favourite locations” when she lived there.

Prince Harry has hinted at difficulties between him and Prince William since stepping back from royal duties last year.

He told Oprah Winfrey in March that the two were on “different paths”.

Then, in May, he spoke of his family’s unwillingness to talk about his mother’s death, and how he was expected to “suffer” in silence.

He said he had been willing to drink and take drugs to cope with the pain of losing her.

Harry, who lives in the US with his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, and their two children, arrived in the UK last week in order to complete his quarantine ahead of Thursday’s event.

Diana’s siblings were among those at the ceremony at Kensington Palace, Diana’s former home in London.

The dukes were seen warmly greeting their aunts, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, and their uncle, Earl Spencer.

The statue’s sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, was also at the ceremony, along with the Sunken Garden’s designer Pip Morrison.

Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in August 1997, when William and Harry were aged just 15 and 12.

When they commissioned the statue of their mother in 2017, they said they hoped it would help visitors to the palace “reflect on her life and her legacy”.

More than 4,000 flowers have been planted for the Sunken Garden’s redesign, which has taken 1,000 hours to complete.

The garden – which sits within London’s Kensington Gardens, next to Hyde Park – will be open to the public to visit for free from Friday, in line with Kensington Palace’s opening hours.

bbc.com