Diana statue: Commentators on Meghan and Kate’s absence
During a private event held behind closed doors today, the two royal siblings reunited today for the unveiling of a statue of their mother on what would have been her 60th birthday. The bronze sculpture shows Diana with three children.
After revealing the statue, Kensington Palace said: “The figure of Diana, Princess of Wales, is surrounded by three children who represent the universality and generational impact of the Princess’s 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.”
In a statement, sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley noted: “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 bears resemblance to holiday snap
Prince William and Harry unveil the statue
But the statue – created by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley – bears a striking resemblance to a holiday picture of the late Princess of Wales with her two children.
The picture, taken in 1988, shows Princess Diana holding the hands of her young sons as she stares off into the distance.
The image was taken while they were guests of King Juan Carlos of Spain and his wife Queen Sofia.
Diana and her children stayed at the Marivent Palace, which is situated outside the Mallorca capital city of Palma.
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Princess Diana would have been 60 on July 1
The statue appears to have been influenced by the 1988 holiday picture as it shows the Princess of Wales wearing a very similar outfit as she stands close to the children.
Following the unveiling of the statue, William and Harry issued a statement which read: “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.”
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Royal Family tree
The statue, privately funded by the brothers, had been originally commissioned to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana.
The garden has also been rearranged to complement the sculpture and create a “calmer and more reflective setting” for the new art piece, the Palace has said.
The feuding brothers looked at ease with each other as they were pictured smiling and chatting in the Sunken Garden.
Among the most notable absentees at the event, there were the Queen, who is undertaking a week of engagements in Scotland, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
William and Harry admire Diana’s statue
While Kate is believed to have already viewed the statue with her three children in a private family moment, she is said not to be in attendance today due to the need of slashing the number of guests to maintain the event COVID-safe.
The Princess of Wales was aged just 36 when she died in a Paris car crash in 1997, five years after she separated from Prince Charles and two years after their official divorce.
She championed hundreds of causes, but in her final years was particularly well known for advocating against the use of landmines.
Princess Diana with Harry and William
Shortly before her death, she visited Bosnia and Angola, where she was photographed walking through a minefield wearing a visor and bomb-proof vest.
Diana was also the first member of the Royal Family to shake hands with a man who had HIV.
She did so without gloves, publicly challenging the notion that HIV/Aids was passed from person to person by touch.