William and Harry to reunite for unveiling of Diana statue

1 July 2021, 06:10 | Updated: 1 July 2021, 09:54

Diana statue’s garden home filled with Princess of Wales' favourite flowers

By Asher McShane

William and Harry will set their differences aside for the unveiling of a statue of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales on what would have been her 60th birthday.

The monument has been erected at Diana's former home Kensington Palace in its Sunken Garden, which has been filled with more than 4,000 flowers and offers a "calmer and more reflective setting" for the permanent tribute to the princess.

Harry attended the star-studded awards ceremony of the charity WellChild at London's Kew Gardens on Wednesday, after apparently completing his quarantine early by providing a negative Covid test.

The duke, who has travelled from his home in California, recently welcomed his second child, daughter Lili, at the start of the month and said "as a father of two, I feel all the more connected, inspired and in awe of the resilience of these families".

A royal source has already described the unveiling ceremony as being a "small event and a very personal moment for the family".

Kensington Palace has confirmed the royal brothers and Diana's close family, thought to be her siblings, will attend the unveiling, along with the statue committee and others involved in the process of erecting it in the palace's Sunken Garden.

Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, was a member of the six-strong committee tasked with commissioning and privately raising funds for the creation of the statue, alongside Julia Samuel, a godparent of Prince George who was a close friend of the princess.

It was chaired by Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the brothers' former principal private secretary, and its members advised on the selection of the sculptor and worked with Historic Royal Palaces on the statue's installation.

Ian Rank-Broadley, who has a long track record of creating images of the royal family, was chosen to sculpt it, and he will be among the invited guests, along with garden designer Pip Morrison.

But the scope of the unveiling has been reduced, with many of Diana's friends and colleagues unable to attend due to Covid regulations.

A royal source said: "Plans have been scaled back due to the current Covid-19 restrictions and media arrangements reflect both the size and tone of the event."

The redesign of the Sunken Garden - one of the places Diana loved most at Kensington Palace - began in October 2019, and since then, five gardeners have spent a total of 1,000 hours working on the mass planting.

More than 4,000 individual flowers - many of them Diana's favourites - have been put in place, including forget-me-nots - known for being adored by the princess - and other spring and summer blooms in a variety of pastel shades.

Others include 200 roses, of five varieties including Ballerina and Blush Noisette, 300 tulips, of three varieties including White Triumphator and China Pink, some 500 lavender plants, more than 100 dahlias and 50 sweet peas.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
Former Tory MP Scott Benton has been suspended from the Commons.

Former Tory MP suspended from Commons over role in lobbying sting as Rishi Sunak faces fresh by-election headache

PlayStation is closing its London studio and axing 900 jobs (file image)

PlayStation to axe 900 jobs and close London studio to 'future ready' itself

Zelensky and Mohammed bin Salman

Zelensky meets Saudi crown prince to discuss peace deal and return of POWs

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston has died aged 45

Lady Gabriella Windsor's husband Thomas Kingston dies aged 45

Mr Scully apologised for his comments.

'I'm sorry I chose those words': Tory MP Paul Scully apologises after claiming there were 'no-go areas' in some cities

Michael Holt, 54, from the Wirral, was found dead in the boat 700 miles into the charity challenge off the coast of Cape Verde, west Africa

Fundraiser launched to return home British father found dead on boat four weeks into 3,000-mile Atlantic ocean row

A remote track near Pitilie

Murder probe launched after former groundsman shot dead while walking his dog on Scottish estate

David Shuttleworth and Matthew Melling escaped jail despite accidents at their trampoline park

Trampoline park bosses fined after 270 injuries in just two months including 11 broken backs

Henry Staunton (left) was fired as chair of the Post Office last month. He has since engaged in a public row with Business Secretary Kemi Bedenoch (right)

'I am the subject of a smear campaign': Sacked Post Office boss hits out at Kemi Badenoch following public row over exit

Union members protesting in Lagos

Government workers strike over Nigeria’s soaring inflation and economic woes

Prince Andrew led the royals into a memorial service after Prince William was forced to pull out

Smiling Prince Andrew returns to the fold as he leads royals into church after William pulls out

Crowds gathered to look for the money-filled briefcase, which was buried to create publicity for a concert.

'Treasure hunters' spark outrage by digging up protected sand dune to find buried money after influencers promote event

Global is launching a new sports podcast The Sports Agents

Behind the scenes of sport: First trailer for Global's new podcast The Sports Agents

Eco-protesters stormed five offices across London

Eco-zealots storm London's Walkie Talkie building as they march through City over insurance for oil projects

Actors from 'shambolic' Willy Wonka-inspired event left 'humiliated' as children dressed as Oompa Loompas are reduced to tears

Actors from 'shambolic' Willy Wonka-inspired event 'humiliated' as children in Oompa Loompa costumes burst into tears

M&S introduced a new line of Christmas gin products in 2020, with Aldi launching its product line the following year.

Aldi loses court appeal in 'strikingly similar' festive gin bottle row with M&S