Despite the distance that has grown between the brothers since Harry and Meghan stepped back from royal duties and moved to California in March 2020, the pair looked in good spirits and had a brief exchange of words ahead of the unveiling.
Footage from the ceremony showed them smiling and laughing as they chatted while entering the garden, where they greeted Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellows, their late mother’s sisters.
The bronze statue, which was commissioned in 2017, was created by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. Aiming to reflect the “warmth, elegancy and energy of Diana”, the statue features the late princess standing in the middle of three children, “who represent the universality and generational impact of The Princess’ work”.
The brothers could be seen chatting as they stood in front of the monument, less than four months after Harry’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which he said the brothers’ relationship “is one of space”.
“As I’ve said before, I love William to bits,” he said at the time. “He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. We have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.”
In a joint statement, Harry and William said they hope it will serve as a symbol of Diana’s life and legacy.
“Today, on what would have been our Mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better.
“Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy,” the statement said.
They also thanked Rank-Broadly and garden designer Pip Morrison: “Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, Pip Morrison and their teams for their outstanding work, to the friends and donors who helped make this happen, and to all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive.”
The statue has been placed in the palace’s Sunken Garden, which was one of Diana’s favourite locations. The garden has also been redesigned, and more than 4000 of her favourite flowers have been planted in the space around the statue.
Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris in August 1997, when Harry was 12 years old, and William was 15.
Prince Harry flew into the UK last week, and isolated at his former home of Frogmore Cottageahead of the ceremony.
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