Prince William and Prince Harry unveiled a statue of their late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, Thursday in honor of what would have been her 60th birthday, a muted affair due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the two brothers’ first appearance together since their grandfather’s funeral in April.
The princes unveiled the statue in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, where Diana lived following her marriage to Prince Charles.
The figure shows Diana surrounded by three children and is intended to represent the “final period of her life as she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
The unveiling, previously envisaged as a large ceremony, was scaled back on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Other members of the royal family were not in attendance, with Diana’s siblings joining Prince William and Prince Harry at the small affair.
The statue was sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley, who has produced several works for the royal family before, including the image of the Queen featured on coins in the U.K. and throughout the Commonwealth.
In a joint statement, Prince William and Prince Harry said: “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… 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.
Beneath the statue is a plinth engraved with Diana’s name and the date of the statue’s unveiling. There is also an extract from a poem—The Measure Of A Man—with the word “man” replaced with “woman.”
A great deal has changed in the royal household since William and Harry commissioned the statue in 2017 and the once close brothers have drifted apart. The divide deepened following the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, from both the royal family and the U.K. Harry and Meghan were stripped of their royal titles and patronages in February following a year-log review and have since accused the royal family of mistreatment and racism. The brothers have not seen one another since Harry returned from California to attend his grandfather’s funeral. Meghan, who did not attend the funeral on account of being heavily pregnant, did not attend the unveiling, nor did William’s wife, Kate.