Prince Harry to return to the UK this week for Princess Diana statue unveiling

The statue, which will go on display at Kensington Palace, will mark Diana’s 60th birthday

Saman Javed
Tuesday 22 June 2021 15:11 BST
<p>Princess Diana (L), Prince Harry and Prince William (R) in 1995</p>

Princess Diana (L), Prince Harry and Prince William (R) in 1995

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Prince Harry will be returning to the UK from the US this week ahead of the unveiling of a statue in honour of his late mother, Princess Diana.

Earlier this month, it was confirmed to The Independent that Harry will be attending a ceremony at Kensington Palace to mark what would have been his mother’s 60th birthday.

Under current coronavirus travel restrictions, the US is on the UK’s amber list, which means anyone arriving from the country must quarantine for 10 days and take two compulsory Covid-19 tests.

There is also the option to take a third test from day five of quarantine under the “Test to Release” programme, which, if negative, allows the traveller to end self-isolation early.

Under this option, the latest Harry could arrive in the UK and safely attend the celebration is 25 June.

The monument was first commissioned by the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge in 2017 on the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death.

At the time, the brothers said it would “recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world”.

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

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

The occasion will be Harry’s first visit to the UK since Prince Philip’s funeral in April.

While William will be present at the statue’s unveiling, Harry is unlikely to meet with his father, Prince Charles, who will reportedly be on a planned visit to Scotland.

A source told The Sun: “Charles will leave the boys to it. Harry will need to quarantine for at least five days when he lands in England, most likely at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.

“Charles has made it quite clear he will not be around beyond that because he is going to Scotland,” the unnamed source claimed.

Harry has previously spoken about a strained relationship with his father, telling Oprah Winfrey during an interview in March that Charles had stopped taking his calls.

The statue is not the first tribute to the late princess, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 when Harry was 12 years old, and William was 15.

The Diana Memorial Foundation in Hyde Park, which was built using 545 pieces of Cornish granite, was opened by the Queen in July 2004. Then, on the 20th anniversary of her death, a memorial garden known as the White Garden was planted at Kensington Palace in 2017.

Earlier this year, the dress worn by Diana at her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981 went on display at Kensington Palace for the first time in 25 years.

The gown, which was designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel is part of a new fashion exhibition called “Royal Style in the Making”.

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