Prince Harry and Prince William Reunite to Honor Princess Diana

For the first time since Prince Philip's funeral in April, Prince Harry and Prince William came together to pay tribute to another family member close to their hearts: their late mom Princess Diana.

By Jess Cohen Jul 01, 2021 2:17 PMTags
Watch: Prince Harry & Prince William Unite to Unveil Diana Statue

Prince Harry and Prince William showed no signs of a family rift as they put on a united front in honor of their late mom.

On Thursday, July 1, what would have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday, the brothers reunited at Kensington Palace to unveil a statue of the Princess of Wales. "Today...we remember her love, strength and character–qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better," Harry and William 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."

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

Harry and William, who have not been seen together since their grandfather Prince Philip's funeral in April, first announced the dedication in 2020. "The statue was commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of her death and recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world," read Harry and William's joint statement, referencing their mom's 1997 passing. "The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother's life and her legacy."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Family Album

In late June, weeks after honoring his mom with the name of his and Meghan Markle's baby girl Lilibet "Lili" Diana, the Duke of Sussex flew solo to the U.K. from his home in Southern California for the unveiling.

On June 28, just days before publicly reuniting with his older brother, Harry made a surprise virtual appearance at the Diana Awards. "I want to thank you for being part of this important moment and for being such a valuable asset to your community," Harry said in a video message to young leaders being honored at the ceremony. "I'm truly honored to be celebrating your work, your commitment to change making and the vital role you've taken on representing a new generation of humanitarianism."

Dominic Lipinski/AP/Shutterstock

The 36-year-old royal went on to address the upcoming tribute to his mother. "Later this week, my brother and I are recognizing what would have been our mum's 60th birthday, and she would be so proud of you all for living an authentic life with purpose and with compassion for others," he continued. "Our mum believed that young people have the power to change the world. She believed in your strength because she saw it day in and day out and in the faces of young people exactly like you, she witnessed a boundless enthusiasm and passion and I too see those same values shine through."

Harry, who announced his royal exit alongside Meghan in January 2020, spoke openly about Diana in the couple's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired this past March. As for how Diana would react to his departure from royal life, Harry said, "I think she would feel very angry with how this has panned out, and very sad. But ultimately, all she'd ever want is for us to be happy."

In fact, as Harry mentioned in the tell-all, the endowment he received from his mother helped him start this new chapter. "I think she saw it coming. And I certainly felt her presence throughout this whole process," he shared, before referencing Diana and Prince Charles' divorce. "I'm just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side. Because I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago, because it's been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we had each other."

Walking Side by Side

While Prince Harry told Oprah Winfrey he and Prince William were on "different paths," he also noted he "loves him to bits"—and their coming together is a true reminder of that.

Getting Ready for the Reveal

The statue of Princess Diana was commissioned by the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex in 2017, 20 years after their mother's death in 1997.

Unveiling the Statue

Not only was the statue placed in the Sunken Garden, Diana's favorite Kensington Palace spot, but a press release revealed it's also surrounded by more than 4,000 individual flowers—including roses, tulips, lavender plants, dahlias, sweet peas and forget-me-nots, Diana's favorite.

"This has been a very special project to work on," Pip Morrison, who designed the new layout, said in a statement, later adding, "We have worked carefully to ensure that the new layout and planting scheme compliments the statue, providing a calming place for people who visit Kensington Palace to remember The Princess."

Honoring Diana

The palace's press release noted the statue is meant "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."


Taking in the Tribute

Underneath the statue is a pedestal that's engraved with the Princess of Wales' name and the date of the unveiling. There's also a paving stone in the front, the press release continued, that features an extract from the poem The Measure of A Man, which was included in the program for a memorial service on the 10th anniversary of Diana's 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?"

Talking Together

Literally larger than life: The press release noted the statue, cast by Castle Fine Arts Foundry "in a traditional 'lost-wax' process with a patina of a bluish green over black," is about one-and-a-quarter the size of the beloved princess.

Embracing Family

Harry and William weren't the only ones at the unveiling. Diana's sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, also attended and received hugs from the dukes.

Greeting Their Uncle

Diana's brother, The Earl Spencer, also made the trip, greeting Harry and William with a warm handshake.

Speaking With the Statue Committee

Among the other attendees: Sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, landscape designer Pip Morrison, chair of historic royal palaces Rupert Gavin, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, former private secretary to Harry, William and Kate Middleton. Gavin and Lowther-Pinkerton sat in on the statue committee and chatted with the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex at the July 1 event.

Watch Peacock's Diana special, streaming now on Peacock.