A statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, is to be placed at Kensington Palace later this year to mark the 20th anniversary of her death, in a plan from her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.
The brothers have set up a committee – called ‘The Diana, Princess of Wales, Statue Committee’ – to commission the monument and raise the funds privately for the cause. The six-strong body – some of whom are from Historic Royal Palaces, which looks after Kensington Palace – will help the Princes select a sculptor and then arrange the installation of the artwork in Kensington gardens. The Palace is, of course, the Princess’ former home.
This news is not a surprise – Prince Harry announced his and William’s intention to mark the anniversary last May: “We want to make sure that there’s something that she’s remembered by […] Every single day we still think about her, so it would be very fitting on the 20th anniversary to have something that is going to last forever and is actually a proper recognition of what she did when she was alive.”
Coinciding with a new exhibition at the Palace of Diana’s dresses and a special tribute in the Sunken Garden, the statue is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Appropriate for such a personal but public commemoration, members of the organising body include Diana’s sister and the Princes’ aunt, Lady Sarah McCoquodale, and one of her friends, Julie Samuel, who is also the Founder Patron of Child Bereavement; The Duke of Cambridge is Royal Patron. William and Harry’s confidant and former advisor, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, one of Prince George’s godparents, will chair the committee.
A statement from William and Harry 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.”
According to Harry’s 2016 statement, the brothers felt that the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park was not ‘on the right scale’ to remember their mother. It was begun in 2003 and opened by The Queen in 2004.
Updates as they come.