Prince Harry and Prince William Thursday reunited for the first time since their grandfather Prince Philip's funeral to commemorate their mother, the late Princess Diana. Surrounded by other members of their family, the royal brothers came together at Kensington Palace, their childhood home, to unveil a statue of their mother on what would have been her 60th birthday. Diana passed away in 1997 following a car crash in Paris at the age of 36. At the time of her passing, William was just 15 and Harry was 12.
Those in attendance gathered in the Sunken Garden on the grounds of Kensington Palace. There, Harry and William were seen in conversation with the other attendees, which included members of Diana's family, including her brother, Charles, 9th Earl Spencer, and her sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Jane Fellowes, Baroness Fellowes. Absent from the ceremony were the brother's wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, as well as Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, according to PEOPLE. It had been reported prior to the Thursday event that Charles would be traveling to Scotland. Following the brief discussions, Harry and William returned to one another's sides to pull the green fabric from the statue, which depicts Diana with three children, a reflection of her work to support and nurture children around the world.
The statue of Princess Diana is unveiled in honor of what would have been her 60th birthday. pic.twitter.com/qbe6sSogyc— TODAY with Hoda & Jenna (@HodaAndJenna) July 1, 2021
In a joint statement, William and 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." Reflecting on their mother's loss, they added that "every day, we wish she were still with us." With the unveiling of the statue, the brothers said they hope the statue "will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy." They ended the statement by thanking the team who helped bring the statue to life and "keep our mother's memory alive."
The statue unveiling had been years in the making. The brothers first commissioned the statue back in 2017 to mark the 20th anniversary of their mother's death to "recognize her positive impact in the United Kingdom and around the world." However, the unveiling was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Thursday ceremony marked the first time the brothers have reunited in person since April, when they joined other members of their family for the funeral of their grandfather, who passed away at the age of 99. Both of those reunions came amid continued reports of a rift in their relationship. It is unclear when Harry intends to travel back home to California, though sources previously stated the trip would be short, as he is eager to get back to his wife and their two children, little Archie and newborn daughter Lili.