On Thursday, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex were seen together to unveil a statue of the Princess of Wales on what would have been her 60th birthday.
The event is taking place in the Sunken Garden at London’s Kensington Palace. It is the second public meeting for the brothers since Harry, 36, and his wife Meghan Markle stepped away from royal duties over a year ago. The statue was commissioned by the siblings in 2017.
“Today, on what would have been our Mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better,” the brothers said in a statement released by Kensington Palace.
“Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy,” they shared.
“Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, Pip Morrison and their teams for their outstanding work, to the friends and donors who helped make this happen, and to all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive,” the statement concluded.
The princes were joined by Diana’s sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Lady Jane Fellowes, brother Earl Charles Spencer, close friend Julia Samual, former Kensington Palace private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton and other members of the statue committee.
Kensington Palace previously announced that the sculpture was created by Ian Rank-Broadley, who has also created the image of Queen Elizabeth II that has been used to decorate all British coins since 1998.
Five gardeners spent over 1,000 hours transforming the Sunken Garden, a known favorite place of the princess, ahead of the unveiling, Harper’s Bazaar reported. It now features over 4,000 planted flowers and a larger lawn space to create “a calmer and more reflecting setting for the statue,” Kensington Palace revealed in a statement.
The space highlights a variety of spring and summer florals, including 100 forget-me-nots, a favorite of Diana’s, as well as 200 rose bushes in five varieties, 300 tulips, 500 lavender plants, 100 dahlias and 50 sweet peas.
“While she was in residence at Kensington Palace, Diana, Princess of Wales regularly admired the changing floral displays in the Sunken Garden and would always stop to talk with me and the other gardeners who cared for it,” Graham Dillamore, deputy Head of Gardens and Estates at Historic Royal Palaces, told the outlet in a statement.
“Over three decades later, I’m honored to have been part of the team preparing the garden for the installation of this statue,” he shared. “We’ve incorporated a number of the princess’s favorite flowers into the design, and I hope that visitors to the palace and gardens will enjoy its peaceful setting, and take a moment to reflect on the life and legacy of the princess.”
Diana passed away in 1997 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash. She was 36.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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