Princes Harry and William to unveil statue of Princess Diana
Prince Harry and Prince William will display a united front when they unveil a statue in honour of their mother Princess Diana later this year.
The Duke of Sussex and Duke of Cambridge will reunite once more as they unveil the commissioned statue of their mother at Kensington Palace on July 1 on what would have been her 60th birthday.
It comes as the royal family braces itself for Harry and Meghan Markle‘s explosive two-hour CBS interview with Oprah later tonight in the US, while the Duke of Edinburgh remains unwell in hospital.
As the bitter fallout surrounding the tell-all interview continues, the Duke of Sussex considers the unveiling of his mother’s statue ‘a priority’, a source told The Telegraph.
Prince William will display a united front with his brother when they unveil a statue in honour of their mother Princess Diana later this year
It comes as the royal family prepares for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s two-hour CBS interview with Oprah later tonight
A friend told the paper: ‘It was something they felt they wanted and needed to do but now they have done it, they feel a line has been drawn under that chapter of their lives and they want to move on.’
There is still uncertainty about whether the Duke will also attend other upcoming events such as the Trooping the Colour on June 12 or the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday on June 10 due to impending arrival of his second child.
The statue was commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world.
It will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on July 1 to mark The Princess’s 60th birthday.
The brothers first announced the commission of the statue on the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, and the initiative is one of their few remaining join ventures.
Announcing the project in 2017, the two Princes said: ‘It has been 20 years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue.
‘Our mother touched so many lives. We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.’
The Princes convened a committee to commission and privately raise funds for the creation of the statue and hope that it will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.
The statue was commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and recognise her positive impact
The statue’s sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, is most recognised for his depiction of the Queen, which has appeared on all coins in the UK and Commonwealth since 1998.
He also designed a gold coin marking the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012.
While the design stages of the statue have progressed since it was first announced four years ago, its installation has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The unveiling of the statue comes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex continue to build on their own projects, including their collaboration with the World Central Kitchen and their support for a Texan women’s shelter.
A source told The Telegraph: ‘There will definitely be more in the days and weeks to come across the board.
‘You will get a sense of their next steps in terms of their work with the foundation and other projects.’
Prince William has barely spoken to his brother in recent months and their relationship is said to be ‘hanging by a thread’ – although Prince Charles is understood to have tried not to get involved.
Despairing officials also cannot believe that Harry is so ‘blinkered’ that he cannot see how the interview is likely to destroy any vestige of trust between him and his family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (pictured with the Queen in 2018) will build on their collaboration with the World Central Kitchen and their support for a Texan women’s shelter in the months to come
Last week the Sussexes were urged to postpone their tell-all interview with Oprah after Prince Philip had major surgery after more than a fortnight in hospital.
Harry’s grandfather had the operation at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in the City of London – Britain’s top heart hospital – after being transferred there from the private King Edward VII Hospital in Marylebone where he was being treated for an infection.
Philip’s daughter-in-law Camilla revealed while visiting a vaccination centre in Croydon that the Duke was ‘slightly improving’ and that everyone in the Royal Family was ‘keeping our fingers crossed’
Giving an update on his condition yesterday, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh yesterday underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
‘His Royal Highness will remain in hospital for treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days.
It came as a new clip released ahead of Harry and Meghan’s interview showed the Duchess of Sussex accusing The Firm of ‘perpetuating falsehoods about us.’
She said: ‘I don’t know how they could expect that after all of this time we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.’
The Duchess added: ‘And, if that comes with risk of losing things, there is a lot that has been lost already.’
It comes as the charity watchdog is reviewing Harry and Meghan’s charity amid concerns about how it was run and whether it complied with charity law before it was shut down last year following their move to the US.
Sources told the Telegraph the Charity Commission has opened a ‘regulatory and compliance case’ into Sussex Royal, though the watchdog has not yet determined whether or not there was any wrongdoing.
While mounting pressure has been put on Meghan and Harry to push back the much-anticipated interview, a friend of the Sussexes told DailyMail.com: ‘Even if Meghan had the choice to postpone the Oprah special she said she wouldn’t because it has absolutely nothing to do with Prince Philip and that this is just an excuse by the palace to keep her muzzled.’
Reports have claimed Meghan could expose insider details of her supposed rift with the Duchess of Cambridge, but an Oprah interview source has insisted Meghan has nothing but ‘kind words’ to say about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
In extracts of the Oprah Winfrey interview released over the last few days, Meghan has criticised the constraints she faced as a working royal, and said it was ‘liberating’ to be able to ‘say yes’ to a request for an interview with the US chat show host.
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