Prince William and Prince Harry on Thursday released a rare joint statement to commemorate their mother, Princess Diana's, 60th birthday. Shortly after the pair reunited at Kensington Palace for an intimate unveiling ceremony of a statue of their mother, they presented a united front in a statement released via the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's official Twitter account later that afternoon.
Signed "Prince William and Prince Harry," the statement began with the brothers recognizing the significance of the day. It read, "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." In a somber line, William and Harry said, "Every day, we wish she were still with us," and they said their "hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy." They ended the note with a message of gratitude to all those involved in the Thursday event, reading, "Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadly, Pip Morrison and their teams for their outstanding work, to the friends and donors who helped make this happen, and to all those around the world who keep our mother's memory alive."
The intimate ceremony, which was scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic, was held at the Sunken Garden on the grounds of Kensington Palace. For the unveiling, the princes were joined by some of their mother's close family members, as well as the statue's sculptor, Rank-Broadly, and garden designer, Morrison. After a short period of greeting their guests, Harry and William pulled back the green fabric to unveil the statue, cast in bronze, which depicted Diana as The People's Princess, the sculpture showing her smiling in a dress with three children standing at her sides. Today reports that a plaque beneath the statue is engraved with Diana's name. There is also a paver stone that features a line from "The Measure of a Man" poem. That line had also been featured in the program for her 2007 memorial service.
The statue unveiling, which was first put into the works all the way back in 2017, came amid continued reports of an alleged ongoing rift between the two royal brothers. In a March interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry said their relationship was "space at the moment." Although there had been reports ahead of the Thursday event claiming that rift was still very much present, NBC News royal commentator Daisy McAndrew told Today, "there's been a suggestion" the brothers bonded overnight as they exchanged text messages about England's Euro 2020 soccer win over Germany Wednesday. Harry did not reunite with his father, Prince Charles, who traveled to Scotland prior to the ceremony.