Princess Diana was a one-of-a-kind member of the British royal family, and since her August 1997 death, Prince William and Prince Harry have worked hard to preserve her legacy.
In January 2017, the brothers announced their plans to commission a statue in her honor. “It has been twenty years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue,” William, now 38, and Harry, now 36, said in a joint statement at the time. “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 project was initially slated to be unveiled later that year, but plans changed, and in August 2020, a new date was confirmed.
“The statue will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking The Princess’s 60th birthday,” the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex announced at the time. “The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.”
William and Harry’s statement about the progress of their mother’s memorial came in the midst of heightened tension between them following Harry and Meghan Markle‘s exit from the royal family in March 2020. One year later, the siblings’ relationship took another sharp turn when the Suits alum, 39, and her husband spoke out about their experiences as senior royals in their CBS sit-down interview. Though things are currently rockier than ever between William and Harry, they’re expected to put their issues aside for the unveiling.
“Diana would not want her sons to be in this bitter fight — and William and Harry both know that all too well,” a source told Us exclusively as the fallout from the tell-all continued.
The duo reunited already once this year, coming together to honor their grandfather Prince Philip, who died in April at age 99. According to a royal insider, “the only topic they discussed” before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral was Diana’s statue.
“The conversation Harry and William had after the big interview didn’t end well. And yes, they agreed over the statue, but communication between them was sparse and over email and WhatsApp,” the insider explained last month.
Harry has been “trying not to overthink” what may go down at the upcoming tribute, but the pair are fully aware that “all eyes will be on them” that day.
“Critics will be analyzing their every move and how they interact with each other,” the source continued. “[William] doesn’t believe that it’s feasible for them to reunite in the public eye without showing signs of tension if they don’t thrash out their differences in advance.”
During his brief April visit to the U.K., Harry “made some progress” with his older brother — but things still haven’t been totally hashed out.
“They definitely haven’t reached the stage where all is forgiven nor have they buried the hatchet,” a second source revealed in May.
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