Prince William and Prince Harry issue rare joint statement about plans to honour Princess Diana

By Heather Cichowski

Prince William and Prince Harry have released a rare joint statement regarding further plans to pay tribute to their late mother, Princess Diana, with a statue that will be installed on what would have been her 60th birthday.

The statement, which was released by Kensington Palace, revealed that the princes hope the statue will pay tribute to their mother's life and legacy.

"The statue that Prince William and Prince Harry have commissioned to commemorate their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, will be installed next year on what would have been her 60th Birthday," read the statement, according to HELLO! UK.

The message continued, "The statue was commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of her death and recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world.

"The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother's life and her legacy."

Prince William and Prince Harry visiting The Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on Aug. 30, 2017. The garden was transformed into a White Garden dedicated to Princess Diana. Photo: © Kirsty Wigglesworth- WPA Pool/Getty Images

The statue will be placed in The Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, which was Diana's former home. It will go there on July 1, 2021, in honour of what would have been the late princess's milestone 60th birthday.

The tribute was commissioned by the princes in 2017, marking the 20th anniversary of their mother's death.

"We have been touched by the kind words and memories so many people have shared about our mother over these past few months," Harry and William expressed in a joint statement at the time. "It is clear the significance of her work is still felt by many in the UK and across the world, even 20 years after her death."

British sculptor and artist Ian Rank-Broadley is responsible for the forthcoming statue. His links to the Royal Family are strong. In fact, the artist has been responsible for all of the portraits of Harry and William's grandmother, the Queen, on British coins since 1998!

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Ian said in a statement in Dec. 2017 after his commission was announced, “It is my sole and highest intention to fulfill the expectations of Their Royal Highnesses in creating a lasting and fitting memorial to their late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.”

The Palace revealed that there have been delays with the memorial due to the coronavirus and COVID-19 lockdown measures, however, it is still planned to be unveiled in The Sunken Garden next year.

Princess Diana and her young sons gather for the commemorations of VJ Day on Aug. 19, 1995 in London. Photo: © JOHNNY EGGITT/AFP via Getty Images

The timing of Harry and William's statement is poignant because Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 marks 23 years since the death of Princess Diana. The People's Princess was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris at the age of 36.

The joint statement also marks the first time the brothers have released one since Harry and Duchess Meghan moved into their new home in Santa Barbara. Previously, the Duke of Sussex and Duke of Cambridge issued a joint statement in January about mental health and their relationship as brothers shortly after it was announced the Sussexes were stepping down from their senior royal roles.

Ian Rank-Broadley's Princess Diana memorial will join several others in London. There is the famous Diana Memorial Playground at Kensington Palace, the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park and the Diana Memorial Walk at St. James's Palace.

Furthermore, the White Garden at Kensington Palace was planted in 2017 to honour the 20th anniversary of her death.

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