Prince William and Kate Middleton Attend Gathering at Kensington Palace in Honor of Princess Diana

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Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

On July 1, on what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday, Prince’s William and Harry unveiled the statue they commissioned together in her memory. Then, just 14 guests including Diana’s siblings attended the event that was scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, this evening a larger gathering was held in the sunken garden of Kensington Palace, which is believed to have included Diana’s friends and former staff as well as donors who supported the statue's creation

Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images
Photo credit: WPA Pool - Getty Images

The private event, thought to have been for around 100 people, was hosted by Prince William alongside his wife Kate. Prince Harry and Meghan did not travel to the UK to attend. Harry had previously returned alone for Prince Philip’s funeral in April this year when Meghan was heavily pregnant, and traveled solo again for the statue to be unveiled in July when their daughter Lilibet was just under one month old.

There have been significant disagreements between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family, but the brothers put on a united front when they unveiled the statue in July. “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,” William and Harry said in a joint statement issued after the design was revealed.

Sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley, the bronze memorial shows Princess Diana 1.25x life size and surrounded by three children representing “the universality and generational impact” of her work. “The statue aims to reflect the warmth, elegance and energy of Diana, Princess of Wales, in addition to her work and the impact she had on so many people,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

The location for the statue was chosen because the sunken garden was one of Diana's favorite places when she lived at the west London palace.

In 2017, 20 years after Diana’s death in a Paris car crash, William and Harry gave frank and personal interviews about their memories of her and how they coped with her death for tribute documentaries. Next year, Prince Harry is releasing his memoirs which the publisher says will be “the definitive account of the experiences, adventures, losses and life lessons that have helped shape him.”

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