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 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 ”.
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:
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