Princess Diana Statue Unveiled by Harry and William: As it Happened

Live Updates
  • Statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, unveiled in London on what would have been her 60th birthday
  • Prince William and Prince Harry attended event in first face-to-face meeting since Prince Philip's funeral
  • The brothers commissioned the statue, which was displayed in the redesigned Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, in 2017
  • The statue unveiling took place in the afternoon local time (morning in the U.S.)

Prince Harry and Prince William met face-to-face in Princess Diana's memory for the unveiling of a statue on what would have been her 60th birthday.

The Kensington Palace reunion was the first time they had seen each other in person since Prince Philip's funeral in April and came against the backdrop of a bitter rift.

The pair spoke outside St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on the day Queen Elizabeth II buried her husband of 73 years but since then there have been more bombshell revelations from both sides.

The Duke of Sussex told his mental health docuseries The Me You Can't See how his family responded with "total neglect" when he asked for help dealing with the media.

And a friend of Prince William told royal historian Robert Lacey how the Duke of Cambridge "threw Harry out" of Kensington Palace early in 2019.

Today, though, was about their mother who died in a Paris car crash on August 31, 1997, when William was 15 and Harry was 12.

Royal watchers gathered outside the gates of Kensington Palace where the statue was unveiled in The Sunken Garden in the afternoon.

Photos of the princess covered the same cast iron gates where 24 years ago a sea of flowers were left in tribute to the iconic princess after her death.

Prince William, Harry Unveil Diana Statue
Prince William and Prince Harry arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Princess Diana in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021 in London, England. The brothers put on a show of unity, with a joint statement after the event. Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The live updates for this event have concluded.

Watch: Moment Prince Harry and Prince William Unveil Princess Diana Statue

Prince William and Prince Harry both pulled the green cover from the statue to their mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday.

The joint act was part of a broader show of unity between the princes, who also released a joint statement.

They 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.

"Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, 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."

Prince William and Prince Harry's Show of Unity at Princess Diana Statue Unveiling

Prince Harry, Prince William at Statue Unveiling
Prince William and Prince Harry arrive for the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. YUI MOK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
William and Harry Unity on Diana's Birthday
Prince William and Prince Harry unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

First Pictures of Princess Diana Statue Released

Princess Diana is pictured with three children in the statue unveiled by Prince William and Prince Harry.

The brothers appeared in video footage to share a joke between each other as the pulled a green sheet off the memorial.

William and Harry each took a string in order to pull the cover free and reveal the monument beneath.

“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," William and Harry said in a joint statement pic.twitter.com/C7v2GPMMyq

— PA Media (@PA) July 1, 2021

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. pic.twitter.com/jsZXyUsG7q

— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) July 1, 2021

Prince Harry and Prince William Walked in Smiling Together

Prince Harry and Prince William walked into The Sunken Garden smiling together in a further show of their desire to put their royal rift to one side in honor of Princess Diana.

The brothers greeted their uncle Charles Spencer and aunts Jane Felowes and Sarah McCorquodale, kissing the two women on the cheek.

They worked their way around the outside of a pond in the centre of the garden, speaking to those gathered.

Pictures of the commemoration of Princess Diana's 60th birthday are expected shortly.

Statue 'Aims to Reflect the Warmth of Princess Diana'

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said: "The statue aims to reflect the warmth, elegance and energy of Diana, Princess of Wales, in addition to her work and the impact she had on so many people.

"The figure of Diana, Princess of Wales is surrounded by three children who represent the universality and generational impact of The Princess' work.

"The portrait and style of dress was based on the final period of her life as she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes and aims to convey her character and compassion."

A plinth beneath the statue is engraved with her name and today's date while a paving stone in front holds an extract from the poem The Measure of A Man.

It reads: "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?"

Prince Harry's Dream of 'Proper Recognition' for Diana

Diana's statue unveiling today has been years in the making, with Harry and William leading the charge.

The royal brothers were partly inspired by the success of another event paying tribute to their mother: 2007's Concert for Diana, held in London on what would have been her 46th birthday.

Elton John, Kanye West, P. Diddy and Pharrell all performed at the show, at the request of the brothers. But the pair wanted something more permanent.

Speaking to Hello! magazine in 2016, Harry said: "We want to make sure that there's something that she's remembered by and there's certainly not enough on the right scale in London or anywhere in the U.K., that she's remembered for.

Elton John, Prince Harry and Prince William
Elton John, Prince Harry and Prince William on stage during the Concert For Diana held at Wembley Stadium on July 1, 2007 in London. The concert marked the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana' s death with an event to celebrate her life. Jon Furniss/WireImage/Getty Images

"And I think myself, William and a few other people, we all agree on that. Something needs to be put in stone or in place as a memory.

"Lots of people still talk about her. Every single day we still think about her, so it would be very fitting...to have something that is going to last forever and is a proper recognition of what she did when she was alive."

Prince William and Prince Harry Show Unity With Joint Princess Diana Statement

Prince William and Prince Harry have unveiled a statue to Princess Diana on what would have been their mother's 60th birthday.

The brothers 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.

"Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, 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."

Princess Diana Statue Unveiling Underway at Kensington Palace

Prince William and Prince Harry are at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace where the unveiling of a statue to Princess Diana has started.

Alongside them is Princess Diana's brother Charles Spencer as well as her sisters Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes.

Ian Rank-Broadley, who designed the statue to the Princess of Wales, is also there along with Pip Morrison, who redesigned The Sunken Garden with 4,000 new flowers in honor of Diana.

Large Crowd Gathers Outside Kensington Palace For Statue Unveiling

A number of people have turned up outside Kensington Palace today to try and be as close to the private event as possible.

Large crowd gathered outside Kensington Palace as wellwishers and media try to be as close to the action — taking place privately behind a large hedge — as possible. #dianaat60 #princessdiana pic.twitter.com/n4T7OXTFuB

— Simon Perry (@SPerryPeoplemag) July 1, 2021

Princess Diana's Family Preparing for Statue Unveiling

Princess Diana's brother and sisters paused for a short period outside Kensington Palace before heading inside for the unveiling of the statue today.

Crowds have gathered outside despite the coronavirus pandemic, eager to see any glimpse of a moment in royal history.

Princess Diana's Brother, Sister at Statue Unveiling
Sarah McCorquodale and Charles Spencer, siblings of Britain's Princess Diana arrive at Kensington Palace for the unveiling of a new statue to their sister on what have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday in London on July 1, 2021. Prince Harry and Prince William are expected to reveal the statue. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
Charles Spencer at Kensington Palace
Charles Spencer arrives at Kensington Palace for the unveiling of a new statue to his sister Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday in London on July 1, 2021. Princes William and Harry will unveil the statue in The Sunken Garden. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

Princess Diana's Brother and Sisters Arrive for Statue Unveiling

Princess Diana's brother Charles Spencer and sisters Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes have been seen arriving at Kensington Palace.

Prince William and Prince Harry will unveil the statue to Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden shortly.

At Kensington Palace, Princess Diana’s brother Charles Spencer and sisters Sarah and Jane have just arrived for this afternoon’s statue unveiling. #Diana60 pic.twitter.com/3tjvBQyWEB

— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) July 1, 2021

Prince William and Prince Harry Must Make 'Meaningful Gesture' Towards Reconciliation

Historian Robert Lacey this week told Newsweek Harry and William must make genuine attempts towards reconciliation today in order to honor Princess Diana's memory.

The Battle of Brothers author said: "Maybe there'll be some clicking of the fingers and waving of the wand on Thursday.

"I don't see how they can do proper honor to their mother's memory without, not a total reconciliation, but a meaningful gesture of homage to her and to each other.

"Otherwise what's the world going to say? If they come out and make two wooden speeches and then go their separate ways what meaning will that ceremony have and what conclusion will the world draw?"

Lacey's biography laid bare the extent of the rift between the brothers when he described Prince William's anger at being told Meghan Markle had been bullying Kensington Palace staff.

Lacey wrote: "William, for his part, felt just as strongly about Meghan and the need for her subversive 'agenda' to be removed from the operations of the British monarchy, which she did not appear to understand or respect.

"He certainly wanted Meghan removed, for a start, from the hitherto harmonious joint household that he and his brother had operated together for the best part of a decade. William simply did not want her or Harry around any more."

The explosive revelations are just one of the numerous issues the brothers may want to discuss if they do have private talks today.

How Princess Diana Has Been Portrayed in TV and Film

Princess Diana has been portrayed a number of times in television and film. Here's a rundown of 10 actresses who've played Diana, Princess of Wales on screen.

Princess Diana portrayed in film and TV
A collage of six different actresses who've portrayed Princess Diana in television and film over the years.

Prince Harry Prepares for First Official Kensington Palace Event Since 2019

The Princess Diana statue unveiling brings Prince Harry back to Kensington Palace for the first time since his royal exit.

Prince Philip's funeral was at Windsor Castle in April and at the time he stayed nearby at his U.K. home Frogmore Cottage, also in Windsor.

Beyond that it is not clear when he last stepped foot in the London royal residence where Meghan Markle told him she was experiencing suicidal thoughts.

Kensington Palace is also the place where their staff accused Meghan of bullying them and where the rift between the brothers grew deeper.

Historian Robert Lacey quotes a friend of Prince William saying the Duke of Cambridge "threw Harry out" when the household was divided in March 2019.

Harry's last official public engagement at Kensington Palace was a reception for the Endeavour Fund in October 2019, according to royal diary the Court Circular.

That was before the Harry and Meghan moved to Canada in around November 2019, ahead of the announcement they would quit royal duties in January 2020.

They moved to America in April 2020 even as the coronavirus pandemic brought lockdown to countries around the world.

Prince William and Prince Harry's Childhood With Princess Diana

Princess Diana raised her sons "so that their souls are not simply immersed by duty and tradition but can sing openly," according to her brother Charles Spencer's eulogy at her 1997 funeral.

Earl Spencer is expected at the Princess Diana statue unveiling at The Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace today.

Princess Diana with William and Harry
Princess Diana with Prince William and Prince Harry, who pulls a cheeky pose as he sticks his tongue out during Trooping The Colour on the Balcony Of Buckingham Palace on June 11, 1988. The brothers will pay tribute to their mother on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Princess Diana at Palace with Harry, William
Princess Diana with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, at the piano in Kensington Palace. The brothers will unveil a statue in her honor at the palace on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Prince Harry Meets U.K. Public For First Time Since Royal Exit

Yesterday, Prince Harry made a surprise appearance at a London charity event to meet with seriously ill children, his first time speaking with the British public since his royal exit.

Prince Harry Said Princess Diana Believed Young People Can 'Change the World'

Prince Harry discussed today's event with Prince William during a pre-recorded speech for The Diana Award, published on Monday.

Prince Harry said: "Later this week, my brother and I are recognizing what would have been our mom's 60th birthday, and she would be so proud of you all for living an authentic life with purpose and with compassion for others.

"Our mom believed that young people have the power to change the world. She believed in your strength because she saw it day in and day out, and in the faces of young people exactly like you, she witnessed a boundless enthusiasm and passion."

He closed the speech by saying: "Stand up for what you believe in and trust that when you live by truth and in service to others, people will see that, just as they did with my mom."

Prince Harry Back in Britain for Princess Diana Statue Unveiling

The Duke of Sussex spent days in coronavirus quarantine in accordance with U.K. rules but emerged yesterday, Wednesday, June 30.

Harry left his British home, Frogmore Cottage, to head to the 2021 WellChild Awards, his first in-person charity job in the country of his birth since he quit royal duties in March 2020.

He spoke to winners at the event in Kew Gardens, West London, and told singer Ed Sheeran having two children is a "juggle."

The duke left daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, born on June 4, at home in California with Meghan Markle and their son Archie, two, in order to make today's event.

Known as Lili, her first name is a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II while her middle name is nod to Princess Diana.

Photos of Flowers and Tributes Left for Princess Diana on Her 60th Birthday

Today would have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday. Flowers and tributes have been left outside the 'Golden Gates' at Kensington Palace.

Kensington Palace's Sunken Garden Redesigned for Princess Diana

The Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace has been redesigned in Princess Diana's memory, using 4000 individual flowers.

Among the flower beds that surround a central pond are 100 of her favorites, forget-me-nots.

Pip Morrison, who designed the new layout, said: "This has been a very special project to work on, as the Sunken Garden was a favourite place of Diana, Princess of Wales.

"We have worked carefully to ensure that the new layout and planting scheme compliments the statue, providing a calming place for people who visit Kensington Palace to remember The Princess."

Graham Dillamore, deputy head of gardens and estates at Historic Royal Palaces, said: "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.

"Over three decades later, I'm honoured to have been part of the team preparing the garden for the installation of this statue.

"We've incorporated a number of the Princess's favourite flowers into the design, and I hope that visitors to the palace and gardens will enjoy its peaceful setting, and take a moment to reflect on the life and legacy of the Princess."

The statue was already in position yesterday but still boxed up ahead of the unveiling.