Today, Thursday, July 1, 2021, Princess Diana would have turned 60. In 2017, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry announced that they would erect a statue of their mother in the Sunken Garden on the grounds of Kensington Palace in London to mark the occasion. They want to use it as a memorial to the “Queen of Hearts,” who died in a traffic accident in 1997. Now it was unveiled in a small and private ceremony.
The statue was made by the artist Ian Rank-Broadley. The sculptor is also responsible for the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which can be found on coinage in the United Kingdom. Surprisingly, the monument shows Diana not alone, but together with children, over whom she holds her hands protectively. A symbol of the fact that she was always committed to helping children in need during her lifetime.
Under the statue is a pedestal on which the name of the princess and the date of the unveiling are engraved, while on a paving stone in front of it is a quote by Albert Schweitzer, which was also in the program of the memorial service for the princess in 2007: “These are the units to measure the value. Of this woman as a woman, regardless of her birth. Not what was her status? But did she have a heart? How did she play her God-given role?”
“We remember her love, strength, and character”
“Today would be our mother’s 60th birthday. We remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good in the world, changed countless lives for the better. Every day we wish she were still with us. We wish this statue would serve as a symbol of her life and legacy,” William and Harry said in a joint speech.
The place where the statue was placed is well chosen. Diana last lived in an apartment at Kensington Palace, and the Sunken Garden was one of her favorite places there. Now it has been redesigned and planted with 50 different types of flowers. This is to give the statue its full impact, a statement from the palace said – including Diana’s favorite flowers forget-me-nots.
A statement said, “The princes hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy. They added: “The statue is intended to reflect the warmth, elegance and energy of Diana, Princess of Wales, in addition to the work she did and the impact she had on so many people. The portrait and style of dress are based on the last period of her life, when she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes, and are intended to convey her character and compassion.”
First meeting of the princes in over two months
The formal event, incidentally, was the first time Prince Harry and Prince William had met since the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip, in mid-April. After the ceremony in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, there is said to have been a heated argument between the two men. That’s probably why the whole world is looking at them today.
In addition to the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, Lady Diana’s siblings were also present at the unveiling, including Earl Charles Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Cynthia Spencer. A total of 30 guests were on hand.