What is the significance of the poem inscribed on Princess Diana’s statue?

New statue of the Princess of Wales has been unveiled at Kensington Palace

Kate Ng
Thursday 01 July 2021 16:02
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Moment Princess Diana statue unveiled by Harry and William at Kensington Palace
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Prince William and Prince Harry have unveiled a bronze statue of their late mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday.

The statue depicts the Princess of Wales surrounded by three children, said to represent the “universality and generational impact” of her work, according to a statement.

Kensington Palace said the statue aims to “convert her character and compassion”, adding that Diana had “gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes” towards the end of her life.

The larger-than-life monument was sculpted by renowned artist Ian Rank-Broadley and was cast by Castle Fine Arts Foundry.

What is the poem?

The bottom of the statue bears a plinth engraved with Diana’s name and the date of the unveiling.

In front of the statue, a paving stone is engraved with an extract from the poem “The Measure of a Man”, which also featured in the programme for the 2007 memorial service for the Princess.

The extract says: “These are the units to measure the worth/Of this woman as a woman regardless of birth/Not what was her station?/But had she a heart?/How did she play her God-given part?”

The author of the poem is unknown, but the popular verses are usually read at funerals to remember a loved one who has died.

In a joint statement on Thursday, William and Harry said: “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 2007 memorial service was held to mark the 10th anniversary of Diana’s death, and was attended by nearly 500 guests.

Including more than 30 members of the royal family, the then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown and representatives from various charities she had supported.

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