Plans for a new Princess Diana statue to be installed at Kensington Palace next year ‘will help to heal old wounds’ after an alleged rift between Princes William and Harry.
A statement on behalf of the Duke of Sussex and Duke of Cambridge issued by Kensington Palace read: ‘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.’
A source told The Mirror: ‘Everyone hopes this will help to heal old wounds.’
The statue was commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world.
It will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking The Princess’s 60th birthday.
The brothers announced the commission of the statue two years ago on the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, and the initiative is one of their few remaining join ventures after a rift between the siblings and Harry’s move to LA.
Pictured, Prince William, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex attend a service marking the centenary of WW1 armistice at Westminster Abbey on November 11, 2018 in London
The princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.
The statue’s sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, is most recognised for his depiction of the Queen, which has appeared on all coins in the UK and Commonwealth since 1998.
He also designed a gold coin marking the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012.
While the design stages of the statue have progressed since it was first announced three years ago, its installation has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Princess Diana died at the age of 36 when the car she was travelling in crashed in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997.
Announcing the project in 2017, William and Harry said: ‘It has been 20 years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue.’
Princess Diana with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry at Wetherby School on September 12, 1989 in London
It is not known if Prince Harry will return to the UK for the unveiling of the statue.
He is currently living in LA with wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie, after moving into a $14.7 family home in Montecito in June.
Relations between the brothers are said to still be strained atfer a rift that began when Prince Harry took offence when his ‘snobby’ brother cautioned him not to rush into marrying Meghan Markle.
In the explosive book Finding Freedom, released earlier this month, authors Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie repeat allegations that William questioned the speed at which his brother’s relationship with the American actress was moving.
According to the book, Harry took offence when William told him: ‘Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.’
The princess loved to walk in the palace gardens and would often stop to chat to the staff. Pictured, the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace
Harry is said to have considered the choice of the words ‘this girl’ to be condescending.
‘In those last two words, ‘this girl’, Harry heard the tone of snobbishness that was anathema to his approach to the world,’ claims the book. ‘During his ten-year career in the military, outside the Royal bubble, he had learnt not to make snap judgments about people based on their accent, education, ethnicity, class or profession.’
In the months that followed the ‘this girl’ comment, the brothers hardly spoke, the book claims. Harry stopped visiting Prince George, now seven, and Princess Charlotte, five, and saw very little of Louis, who was born just before the Royal wedding in April 2018.
Meanwhile, Prince William was said to be furious over the Sussexes decision to go public with their plans for Megxit before an agreement was reached with the royal family.
Author Omid Scobie has claimed William, a future king, was upset by the decision as he believed it had damaged the royal family’s reputation.
He told True Royalty TV that the pair cut communication for two months after Megxit and still have barely any communication, while their relationship ‘will take time to heal’.