Prince William and Prince Harry have always been determined to preserve their mother’s legacy.
On Thursday, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex will meet to unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday. The event in Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace in London will be their second public meeting since Harry, 36, and his wife Meghan Markle stepped down from royal duties more than a year ago.
“Prince William and Prince Harry have wanted to do something for Diana for so long,” True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen told Fox News. “There have been several attempts. The Diana Memorial Fountain was something that didn’t really capture the essence of Diana, many thought. But this statue, I was told, is amazing work and a appropriate tribute. “
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“It’s strange, isn’t it?” continues the filmmaker. “Here we are, almost 24 years after her death. And there hasn’t been a real permanent memorial to one of the world’s most famous women. I think it’s about time. is quite appropriate. But it took a while. There was a lot of concern about how to capture her image in stone because she was so beautiful. And there was a lot of talk about the memorial and how he would capture the essence. And the boys were very involved in the planning process. “
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Bullen, an award-winning documentary maker, has been directing shows about the royal family for almost 20 years and has worked closely with their father, Prince Charles, for the past eight years. In time for the statue’s unveiling, the streaming platform will celebrate Diana’s birthday with a collection of documentaries, including two US premieres: “Diana: A Mother’s Love” and “Diana at 60”.
Bullen said there’s no denying Diana’s lasting imprint on the monarchy.
“The Princess of Wales has changed the British monarchy so much,” he explained. “She made an impact almost from the first day she appeared in the newspapers… She was from a different generation. She was a young woman who gave the monarchy a very modern look.”
“She reached out to AIDS patients and reached out to people living with HIV when no one else was touching them,” he explained. “She embraced what are considered ‘inglorious’ causes like homelessness and landmines. She touched so many people because she got down to them. She held babies on her feet. knees. It’s a very different way of being royal. “
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Bullen said the documentary “Diana: A Mother’s Love” explores how the Princess made her mark as a loving parent who openly embraced her sons and was determined to give them as normal a life as possible.
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“She was very involved as a mother,” Bullen said. “She insisted that the babies be on tour with her in the early years. Look at Harry and William now. They took their kids with them on tour. It had never been done before. But Diana changed everything. And she wanted her son to have a very normal life. You saw them in theme parks, you saw them on a beach vacation. These weren’t things we had seen royals do before. Both boys have taken this approach as parents. “
Bullen pointed out that William, who is second to the throne, was drawn to his wife Kate Middleton because she came from a more normal upbringing. The couple met at the University of St. Andrews and got married in 2011.
“Diana was fully aware of her sons’ duty and fate, but she wanted them to feel as normal as possible,” Bullen said. “You can especially see it in William. He’s a working father married to a working mother. They live in a palace, but they lead a relatively normal upper-class British life. And I think that’s very in tune with Diana and how she raised her sons. “
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Bullen said he hopes Diana fans will have the chance to explore the new documentaries, which show a completely different side of a beloved royal – one who continues to influence his sons today.
“Before all of this bickering and bumbling between all the different royal families, this takes you back to a more innocent age in many ways,” he said. “We can see how glorious this beautiful princess was with her boys. I think we need programs that uplift and they do it in different ways.”
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On July 29, 1981, Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, when she was 20 years old. They welcomed William in 1982, followed by Harry in 1984. The couple divorced in 1996. Diana died in 1997 from injuries sustained in a car accident in Paris. She was 36 years old.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.