Prince Harry is Back in the UK For the Unveiling of Princess Diana’s Statue
Prince Harry is back in the United Kingdom for the first time since Prince Philip's funeral. This time, it's for the unveiling of his late mother Princess Diana's memorial statue that will be held on July 1 at Kensington Palace. The statue was commissioned in honour of what would have been the Princess' 60th birthday.
This is only the second time Prince Harry has returned to London since he stepped back from his royal duties and moved to the United States with his family last year. His latest visit also comes at a particularly delicate time due to the number of explosive interviews Harry and Meghan have given the press.
Later, Harry went on Dax Shephard's podcast, Armchair Expert, and spoke openly about how he felt he was living in a zoo while he was a member of the royal family and how he was caught in a cycle of "pain and suffering".
As expected, a rift has grown between the young royal and his family. Unfortunately, it seems that the brothers did not appear to reconcile during Prince Philip's funeral despite being seen speaking to each other on the day.
However, it is very clear that both brothers want to honour their mother and her legacy during the unveiling ceremony which is why they are putting aside their differences and coming together for the occasion.
Here's everything we know so far about the upcoming ceremony and the statue of Princess Diana.
The statue was commissioned in 2017
In 2017, Prince Harry and Prince William released a joint statement announcing that they had commissioned a statue of their mother.
In the statement, they said: “It has been 20 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. 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.”
A committee, which included Prince Harry, Prince William, one of Princess Diana's sisters, some close friends and a number of charity contacts and experts, was formed to develop a plan to honour the 20th anniversary of her death.
They commissioned artist Ian Rank-Broadley to create the statue of Diana. He was also the sculptor who created Queen Elizabeth II's silhouette, which is currently on all British coins.
The statue will be at Kensington Palace
The statue will be placed in the Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace. The Sunken Garden was one of Princess Diana's favourite places to be on the palace grounds, so it is symbolic to those who loved and knew her.
“The statue will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking the Princess's 60th birthday,” the palace said in a statement last year. “The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother's life and her legacy.”
Meghan and Kate Will Not Be Attending
Though Prince Harry will be at the unveiling, his wife, Meghan Markle, will not be joining him. Instead, she will remain at home in Montecito, California with their newborn daughter, Lilibet Diana, and their two-year-old son, Archie Harrison. Meghan had also missed the funeral of Prince Philip as she was heavily pregnant with Lilibet at the time.
Additionally, Kate Middleton will also not be in attendance. This is because of the Covid-19 situation in the UK which has forced officials to scale down the ceremony significantly.
Prince William reportedly intends to bring his wife and children to view the statue privately sometime before the official unveiling and while Prince Harry is still in quarantine.
According to Buckingham Palace, only the two princes, close family of the late Princess of Wales, some members of the statue committee, Rank-Broadley, and garden designer Pip Morrison, will be present during the official ceremony.