Prince William and Prince Harry came together Thursday to unveil a statue of their late mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday.
They attended a small event at Kensington Palace to reveal the statue and were joined by some of Diana’s close family members, as well as the statue's sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, and garden designer Pip Morrison.
As for the representation of the late royal, the statue, cast in bronze, captured Diana in casual dress with three children standing at her sides and with her arms reached out to two of them. It depicts the woman who became known as The People’s Princess in showing her signature personal touch she was so loved for.
Beneath the statue, a plinth is engraved with Diana’s name and a paver stone features a line from “The Measure of a Man” poem, which was also in the program for her 2007 memorial service.
After the unveiling, the princes released a rare joint statement that read, “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.”
They then added a note of gratitude to all of those who made the event possible.
"Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadly, 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.”
Though a rift between the brothers has made headlines in recent years — and served as the subject matter for at least two tomes last year, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s “Finding Freedom” and Robert Lacey’s “Battle of Brothers — the princes showed no signs of it in photos from the unveiling, instead appearing united in their goal to honor the woman who meant so much then both.
Shortly before Thursday’s event, NBC News royal commentator Daisy McAndrew hinted that the duo may have made amends, telling TODAY “there’s been a suggestion” the brothers bonded overnight as the two exchanged text messages about England’s Euro 2020 soccer win over Germany Wednesday.
But the plans for this statue began long before any talk of a family feud began. Harry, 36, and William, 39, announced their intention to erect a statue of their mother on the grounds of Kensington Palace back in 2017.
“It has been twenty years since our mother's death and the time is right to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue,” the brothers said in a joint statement at the time.
“Our mother touched so many lives,” their statement continued. “We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.”
The statue can be found in the palace's newly redesigned Sunken Garden, in which thousands of flowers were planted in 2017 in honor of the late princess. According to a release from Kensington Palace, in addition to a wealth of 4,000 individual new blooms that planted since 2019, which include many of Diana's favorites, the new redesign features a generous lawn around the garden’s pool “to create a calmer and more reflective setting for the statue.”
The tranquil Sunken Garden was one of Diana’s most cherished places at the palace.
“While she was in residence at Kensington Palace, Diana, Princess of Wales regularly admired the changing floral displays in the Sunken Garden and would always stop to talk with me and the other gardeners who cared for it,” Graham Dillamore, deputy head of gardens and estates at Historic Royal Palaces, said in a release.
The gardens surrounding the statue include some of the late princess's favorite flowers, like forget-me-nots.
Both William and Harry have opened up about how they coped with the trauma of their mother’s death in 1997.
"I was so angry with what happened to her, and the fact that there was no justice at all,” Harry, who was 12 when his mother died, said in “The Me You Can’t See,” a documentary series he produced with Oprah Winfrey. “The same people that chased her through that tunnel photographed her dying on the back seat of that car."
Diana was just 36 years old when she died from injuries she sustained in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
William, who was 15 when he lost his mom, talked about his grief in a 2019 interview.
“I think when you are bereaved at a very young age, anytime really, but particularly at a young age, I can resonate closely to that — you feel pain like no other pain,” he said. "And you know that in your life it's going to be very difficult to come across something that's going to be even worse pain than that.”