Princes William, Harry unveil Princess Diana statue amid family rift

On what would have been her 60th birthday, estranged brothers Princes William and Harry came together to honor their mother, Princess Diana’s, memory.

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The two brothers appeared together to unveil a statue of Diana in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, The Associated Press reported.

They said they would hope it would be a memorial to her life and legacy, Reuters reported.

The statue shows Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997, with three children that represent “the universality and generational impact” of the princess.

There is a stone engraved with a portion of the poem “The Measure of A Man” and a plinth with her name and July 1, 2021, inscribed below the statue, according to Reuters.

The statue was designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and was commissioned by William and Harry in 2017, Reuters reported.

“Today, on would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character — qualities that make her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better,” William and Harry said in a joint statement, Reuters reported.

They added, “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.”

The brothers were joined by Diana’s brother Charles Spencer and her sisters Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes, Reuters reported.

This was the second time the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex have been together since Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, spoke with Oprah Winfrey about the inner workings and challenges they faced as working members of the royal family, the AP reported.

Harry and Meghan stepped down as working royals more than a year ago, which started the rift between the House of Cambridge and the House of Sussex.

One historian said the breakdown is more than two brothers disagreeing. Robert Lacey, author of “Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult,” said William, who is second in line to the throne of England, is defending the monarchy. Harry, on the other hand, is defending his wife.

“It’s a matter of love versus duty, with William standing for duty and the concept of the monarchy as he sees it,” Lacey told the AP. “And then from Harry’s point of view, love, loyalty to his wife. He is standing by her. Those are very deeply rooted differences, so it would be facile to think that there can just be a click of the fingers.”

But the rift was expected to stay behind closed doors during Thursday’s ceremony.

“We’re not going to see any acrimony or animosity between the brothers on Thursday,” Ed Owens, author of “The Family Firm: Monarchy, Mass Media and the British Public 1932-1953,″ told the AP. “I think reconciliation is a long way off, but nevertheless these are expert performers. Harry and William have been doing this job long enough now that they know that they’ve got to put, if you like, occasional private grievances ... aside for the sake of getting on with the job.”