Prince William and Prince Harry revealed their plans to honor late mom Princess Diana‘s “life and legacy” nearly 23 years after she died in a tragic car accident in 1997. The royal siblings shared a rare joint statement announcing the highly anticipated statue of the beloved Princess of Wales.
“The statue will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking the princess’s 60th birthday,” read the statement, which came from the Kensington Palace offices of the Duke of Cambridge, 38, and his wife, Duchess Kate (née Middleton), on Friday, August 28. “The princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.”
The statue — which was first announced in February 2017 — was “commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of her death and recognize her positive impact in the U.K. and around the world,” the brief statement continued.
William and the Duke of Sussex, 35, appointed Ian Rank-Broadley to commission the long-awaited tribute. The British sculptor has quite the history with the royal family as he previously created the image of William and Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, that has been used on all British coins since 1998.
The brothers’ statement marks the first time they have spoken publicly together since Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, moved into their new home in Santa Barbara, California. The couple stepped back from their duties as senior members of the 94-year-old monarch’s royal family in January and have been bouncing around North America before recently purchasing a $14.7 million property in the Montecito area.
Although Harry and Meghan, who tied the knot in May 2019 and share 16-month-old son Archie, are happier than ever in Santa Barbara, the decision to step back from the royal family didn’t sit well with some — especially William.
“William’s done everything in his power to help his brother over the years and feels totally let down by his ‘reckless’ and ‘selfish’ actions,” an insider exclusively told Closer Weekly in January. “The way he sees it, Harry’s thrown all the good advice he gave him back in his face. When Harry was feeling low or had problems, William was always there for him, as was Kate.”
The two dukes may not be seeing eye to eye when it comes to certain things in the royal monarchy, but William and Harry will always be family. Diana’s former aide, Paul Burrell, insisted the doting mom would’ve intervened if she was still around.
“Diana would say to them, ‘Boys, you’re both my boys. I love you both equally, I love you both dearly. Sort it out,'” Paul told In Touch Weekly in October 2019.
When it comes to their mother, William and Harry will always put their differences aside.