Prince William and Prince Harry’s arrangements for the unveiling of commemorative statue of their mother demonstrates ‘the new Spencer generation taking over without a Windsor in sight’, a leading royal biographer has claimed.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, was reunited with his brother Prince William, 39, at Kensington Palace on Thursday where together they unveiled a statue of their beloved late mother on what would have been her 60th birthday after a tumultuous 18 months for their own relationship.
Appearing on The Royal Beat, available on Royalty TV, Robert Lacey, author of Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, said: ‘There’s no way the Queen would have put up a statue to Diana, obviously no way Charles would have put up a statue to Diana, so this is them.
‘It’s the new Spencer generation taking over. There’s not a Windsor in sight, it’s that side of the family.’
Prince William and Prince Harry’s arrangements for the unveiling of commemorative statue of their mother demonstrates ‘the new Spencer generation taking over without a Windsor in sight’, a leading royal biographer has claimed. Pictured, at the statue unveiling
Prince Harry, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Lady Jane Fellowes, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Earl Spencer attend the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana
The unveiling took place at a small family event attended by The Princess’ siblings: The Earl Spencer, The Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and The Lady Jane Fellowes, in addition to the Statue Committee, the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, garden designer Pip Morrison and Chair of Historic Royal Palaces, Rupert Gavin.
Royal experts also went on to tell the programme that the event could provide the first ‘baby steps’ towards a better relationship between the two brothers – but added there was still a long way to go.
‘I think probably for both brothers, it was incredibly important that they took ownership of this,’ said Vanity Fair royal correspondent Katie Nicholl. ‘They have not really been able to put their true stamp on it [since] they commissioned this back in 2017.
It has been delayed, there have been setbacks, they wanted to make sure it was just right.’
Speaking of the scaled-back statue unveiling, royal author Robert Lacey (pictured) said: ‘It’s the new Spencer generation taking over. There’s not a Windsor in sight’
Prince Harry chats with his uncle Earl Spencer ahead of the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana
Pictured, Princess Diana with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry during a holiday with the Spanish royal family at the Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, August 1987
‘I think it probably was right and important that it was just the two of them there for the unveiling.’
Ingrid Seward, Editor at Large of Majesty Magazine added: ‘There’s no way they were going to let anyone steal the thunder from their mum and the statue, so they were very, very anxious to keep control of this.’
Katie Nicholl went on to discuss how the day wasn’t only about the statue, but about ‘the brothers, the chemistry and the interaction.’
‘They have been in touch by text, quite a lot recently, to put the final touches to today,’ she explained. Apparently, they also texted about the football…I think both of them look relaxed.
‘Harry particularly is very clearly at ease. Does that mean that everything is going to be sorted over and all the cracks smoothed over? I don’t think so.’
Ingrid Seward added: ‘They were definitely not going to let us know if things were awkward. I don’t think it’s the moment to try and have a rapprochement. I think it’s very difficult when you haven’t spoken to a member of your family for some time to suddenly say “well right let’s make it up.”‘
It’s sort of unsaid, especially amongst the Royals. They’re not the greatest at this kind of conversation.’
Relations between the two brothers (pictured in 1995 with their mother Diana) after Harry criticised his father Charles and said William and the family were trapped which Harry and Meghan also accused one unnamed royal of making a racist remark
Robert Lacey believes we can read ‘positive vibrations’ into the reunion that took place yesterday.
‘Obviously, it’s not going to be a total reconciliation, but I think it’s first baby steps towards some sort of new arrangement in the future,’ he commented.
Nicholl went on to say the decision to not have any separate speeches but just issue a joint statement was deliberate.
‘A joint statement was the perfect solution because it suggests symmetry, it suggests togetherness,’ she noted. ‘I think the simple fact is that Diana would be devastated that the brothers have fallen out. She would have hated it. She said to the boys “whatever you do, stick together”, and they haven’t. They’ve come unstuck.
‘But, I think this statue represents a glue that will begin to heal. It’s going to take more than just this to heal the rift but there has to be a starting point in the getting back together process.’
Lacey compared the statue unveiling with the last time the two brothers were together.
‘We were told by friends that the moment they were out of sight of the camera, they were at each other’s throats,’ he claimed. ‘We are dealing with deep seated emotions here.’
‘William is defending his view of the monarchy and the Royal Family and how he thinks it should behave and how he thinks, Harry and Megan together have disrespected that.
For Harry’s part, he is defending the wife he loves against a family that he has said is even being racist in its attitude towards her. These are very deep-seated emotions, and they’re not going to be papered over quickly.’
The Royal Beat – available on True Royalty TV