Prince Harry joined his brother, Prince William, to commemorate what would have been their mother’s 60th birthday, unveiling a statue in her honor
Thursday, July 1 marks what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday, and her two sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, reunited to unveil a statue in her honor. The brothers met up for a ceremony in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden, which was recently redesigned to serve as a fitting tribute to Diana, including more than 4,000 blooms planted with beds featuring her favorite flowers, forget-me-nots.
Plans for the statue had been in motion since last summer, but all eyes were obviously on the two brothers, who are believed to have a very strained relationship – especially after Harry’s bombshell joint interview with his wife, Meghan Markle, in which the couple detailed their issues with the royal family and, in particular, William and his wife, Kate Middleton.
While the pair did meet up in April to attend the funeral services for their grandfather, Prince Philip, the statue ceremony marks the first time the siblings have teamed up publicly one-on-one since the Oprah interview in March.
Prior to the ceremony, the brothers released a joint statement, opening up about their mom and her legacy. “We remember her love, strength and character,” they shared. “Qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better.”
They hoped the statue would “be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy,” thanking “all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive.”
BBC News shared more details about the ceremony, revealing that only a few attendees were present – Prince William, Prince Harry, Diana’s two sisters, her brother, and members of the statue committee. There were no public speeches, with the pair reportedly exchanging laughs and conversation with the other attendees. BBC News reported that they were “professional and friendly and gave no obvious sense of the tensions behind the scenes,” adding, “They don’t want the day to be about their own broken relationship. They want it to be about their mother and her legacy.”
The Sunken Garden, located within London’s Hyde Park, will be open to the public to visit for free from Friday. Landscape architect Pip Morrison told Harper’s Bazaar that the garden was a favorite spot for Diana before her death in 1997, and it certainly seems like a perfect place to honor and celebrate her life.