Prince Harry to return to UK next month for Princess Diana statue unveiling

The statue will be placed in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace

Saman Javed
Monday 07 June 2021 14:58 BST
Princess of Wales with Prince Harry
Princess of Wales with Prince Harry (PA)

After welcoming his daughter Lilibet Diana on Friday 4 June, Prince Harry is still planning to return to the UK next month for the unveiling of a statue in honour of his late mother, Princess Diana.

It has been confirmed to The Independent that the Duke of Sussex does plan on attending the unveiling of the monument, which was first commissioned over four years ago.

A statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, will be installed in the garden at Kensington Palace on 1 July to mark what would have been her 60th birthday.

It was first commissioned by the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death and as recognition of her “positive impact”.

At the time, the brothers release a statement saying: “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.

“Our mother touched so many lives. We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.”

The sculpture, which will be displayed in the palace’s Sunken Garden, has been created by artist Ian Rank-Broadley. He is also the creative behind the portrait of the Queen which appears on all UK coins.

Previous monuments to honour the late princess include the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, which was built using 545 pieces of Cornish granite. It was opened by the queen in July 2004.

A memorial garden known as the White Garden was also planted at Kensington Palace to mark 20 years since her death. Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, when Harry was 12 years old, and William was 15.

This month, the dress worn by Princess Diana at her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 went on display at Kensington Palace.

The gown, which was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel is part of a new fashion exhibition called “Royal Style in the Making”. It is the first time it has gone on display at Kensington in 25 years.

The dress features a fitted bodice covered in panels of antique Carrickmacross lace originally belonging to Prince Charles’ great grandmother Queen Mary. At 25 feet, it also has the longest train in royal history.

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