Princes William, Harry to unveil Diana statue as royal rift simmers

 Princes William, Harry to unveil Diana statue as royal rift simmers

British Princes William and Harry are meeting to unveil a statue to their late mother Princess Diana

British Princes William and Harry are meeting to unveil a statue to their late mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday.

The statue in honour of Diana, who was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997, will be revealed on Thursday in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace in central London, her former home.

It will be the second memorial to Diana in London, after a 210-metre (689-foot) long fountain was unveiled in Hyde Park in 2004 after years of bureaucratic wrangling and squabbling over the design.

The buildup to the event has been the subject of intense media focus, with the brothers said to have barely spoken to each other in recent months after a public falling out.

“I think it’s going be very awkward,” royal commentator Penny Junor told Reuters.

“They will put on a show because the cameras will be there, but neither of them is very good at hiding their emotions.”

Deep trauma

William was 15 and Harry 12 when the limousine carrying their mother and her partner Dodi al-Fayed crashed in a tunnel in Paris as it sped away from chasing photographers.

Diana became a household name around the world after her marriage to heir to the throne Prince Charles in 1981.

The subsequent collapse of their relationship was played out in the full glare of the media spotlight, further captivating the public.

Almost a quarter of a century since the fatal crash, her life and death are still a regular feature in British newspapers.

William and Harry have spoken of the deep trauma the loss caused, and how it affected their mental health for years afterwards.

In 2017, they commissioned the statue to mark her legacy and life, eventually selecting sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, whose effigy of Queen Elizabeth II has been used on British and Commonwealth coinage, as its designer.

It will be unveiled at a small event attended by a select group of attendees, including the princes and Diana’s close family at Kensington Palace, where William, 39, now lives with his family.

Web Desk

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