Prince Harry and Prince William gathered on Thursday to unveil a new statue of their late mother, Princess Diana, which they commissioned in 2017.

The date – July 1 – was particularly poignant, as it marked what would have been the Princess of Wales’ 60th birthday.

The private unveiling ceremony brought together the princes, workers intimately involved in the project, as well as close friends and family members of Diana, including her three siblings: her brother, Charles Spencer, and her two sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes.

The bronze statue, designed by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, depicts the princess alongside three children.

It was an unexpected choice by the sculptor, given that Diana only had two children, but made perfect sense when explained in a statement shared by Kensington Palace.

The statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, by artist Ian Rank-Broadley, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace.

WPA Pool via Getty Images

The statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, by artist Ian Rank-Broadley, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace.

The palace said the children are meant to “represent the universality and generational impact of the princess’ work.”

Diana, who worked as a nanny and childminder before marrying Prince Charles, loved children and, in particular, being a mother.

The princes explained how much they miss their beloved mom in a joint statement sent after the unveiling.

“Today, on our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good in the world, changing d ‘countless lives for the better,’ the two said in a statement via Kensington Palace.

“Every day we want her to be always with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen as a symbol of her life and legacy forever,” they added.

Before signing, the brothers thanked those who worked on the sculpture and the unveiling, as well as “the friends and donors who have contributed to the achievement of this goal, and to all those around the world who keep alive the memory of our mother ”.

Diana's short hair, dress style, and portrayal are based on the last period of her life.  Under the statue is a pl

WPA Pool via Getty Images

Diana’s short hair, dress style, and portrayal are based on the last period of her life. Under the statue is a plinth engraved with his name and the date of the inauguration, and in front of a paving stone engraved with an extract inspired by the poem “The measure of a man”.

Harry and William both spoke openly about their mother’s death and have become frank about how her loss still affects them today.

“Shock is the most important thing,” the Duke of Cambridge revealed in the 2017 BBC documentary “Mind Over Marathon”. “And I still feel 20 years later for my mother, I still have a shock in me 20 years later. ”

“People say, ‘The shock can’t last that long,’ but it does,” the prince explained. “You never get over it, it’s an incredibly important time in your life that he never leaves you. You just learn to face it.

For more photos of the unveiling ceremony and the statue, see below:

  • William and Harry look at a statue they commissioned from their mother.

  • Royal fan John Loughrey poses with wreaths and pictures attached to the gates of Kensington Palace to celebrate what w

  • Flowers and tributes to Princess Diana are seen outside the Golden Gates at Kensington Palace on Thursday in London.

  • Charles Spencer and Lady Jane Fellowes, brother and sister of Diana, arrive at Kensington Palace for the unveiling of the statue

  • Spencer, Fellowes and Diana's other brother, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, arrive at the opening.

  • William and Harry arrive.

  • The princes speak with Rupert Gavin, president of the historic royal palaces (left), and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton (right), the former

  • Guy Monson, statue committee member, speaks with Harry.  Meanwhile, the Duke of Cambridge chats with a gardener

  • The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge greet their aunts Lady Sarah McCorquodale (second left) and Lady Jane Fellowes (right

  • The brothers prepare to unveil the statue.

  • The bronze statue, which is 1.25 times larger than the actual size, was made by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley.

  • The statue will rest permanently in the Sunken Gardens of Kensington Palace, which was one of the Princess of Wales' favorites

  • Rank-Broadley speaks with the Duke of Cambridge, while Harry screams for someone.

  • The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex in front of the statue.

  • The Duke of Sussex turns and smiles.

  • A close-up of the brothers.

  • Sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, (L), Earl Spencer (C) and Lady Sarah McCorquodale attend the inauguration.

  • A paving stone engraved with an extract inspired by "The measure of a man" poem is depicted after the unveiling.

  • Let's take a closer look at the excerpt.

  • A better look at the three children who surround the statue of Princess Diana.  Kensington Palace said children "represent

  • Another look at the statue.

  • Harry welcomes Julia Samuel, founder of Child Bereavement UK and close friend of Princess Diana, at the inauguration.

  • The redesigned Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace - houses the new statue of Diana, Princess of Wales.

  • A gardener works in the Sunken Garden.

  • Work in progress in the redeveloped Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace.

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