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Photographer shares story behind 1 of Princess Diana's favorite pics with sons

Royal photographer Jayne Fincher followed Princess Diana for almost 20 years and took many famous photos of Diana doing humanitarian work.
/ Source: TODAY

Of the thousands of photos that exist of Princess Diana, there's one that captured her with her young sons that she loved more than the rest.

Front and center in the snapshot is Diana's smile — one that any parent who's been separated from their children for a few days will recognize. Dressed in a Moschino suit and standing on the deck of a yacht in Toronto, she extends her arms to embrace her boys, 9-year-old Prince William and 7-year-old Prince Harry, as they join their parents on an official visit to Canada in October 1991.

The Princess of Wales greets her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, on the deck of the yacht Britannia in Toronto, when they joined their parents on an official visit to Canada on Oct. 23, 1991.Jayne Fincher / Getty Images

The photographer behind one of the family-favorite shots, Jayne Fincher, who followed Diana for almost two decades, recalled the moment in an interview that aired on TODAY Wednesday.

"It was lovely to see them together because she was very joyous," Fincher said. "They were obviously absolutely the apples of her eyes, and there was a lot of laughter."

"The boys burst out of the doors, and Diana spotted them. And she ran the length of the yacht going, 'Ooooh!' Like, 'My boys!'" she added, extending her arms. "I think she had that in a frame above her dressing room."

Fincher also was responsible for many famous photos of Diana's well-known humanitarian work, especially the time she spent abroad and with HIV/AIDS patients.

Princess Diana visiting a patient at the London Lighthouse, a centre for people affected by HIV and AIDS, in London in October 1996.Jayne Fincher / Getty Images

"There was a lot of sympathy and compassion. She was a compassionate person," Fincher told TODAY.

Harry in particular has continued his mother's legacy, recently walking through an Angola minefield that Diana visited in 1997 — starting a campaign that later led to it being cleared.

Prince Harry retraces Princess Diana's footsteps in an Angola minefield.Dominic Lipinski/AP, Tim Graham/Getty Images

On Thursday, what would've been Diana's 60th birthday, the late princess's sons will unveil a statue of her at Kensington Palace's Sunken Garden.

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"Her two sons are still such a living, strong embodiment of everything she was trying to do," Roya Nikkhah, royal editor at U.K. paper The Sunday Times, told TODAY. "I think that keeps her very much alive in our thoughts, particularly when you have big moments like this."

The brothers initially announced the plan in a joint statement in 2017.

"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 statement read.