Princes William and Harry to unite to unveil statue of Diana

·Royal Correspondent
·5 min read

Watch: Prince Harry pays tribute to mother at Diana Awards

Prince William and Prince Harry are to unite for the first time since the funeral of their grandfather as they unveil a statue of their mother, the late Princess Diana.

All eyes will be on the two brothers as they play a key role in the small ceremony to reveal the long-awaited tribute in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on Thursday.

Harry, 36, arrived in the UK over the weekend, isolating at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, the home he was given by the Queen when he married Meghan in May 2018.

William, 39, has had a busy week, spending Monday in Scotland with his grandmother as she started her annual royal week of engagements, and then jetting back in time to watch the England match at Wembley with his son Prince George and wife Kate.

With Harry quarantining, it's not known if there will be a suitable opportunity for the brothers to catch up before the event.

But The Telegraph reports the two men plan to talk privately after the ceremony.

ALTERNATIVE CROP VERSION - Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Peter Phillips and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walk during the funeral procession of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. - Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, died on April 9 aged 99 just weeks after a month-long stay in hospital for treatment to a heart condition and an infection. - ALTERNATIVE CROP VERSION (Photo by Victoria Jones / POOL / AFP) / ALTERNATIVE CROP VERSION (Photo by VICTORIA JONES/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Harry and William were last together at the funeral of Prince Philip. (Victoria Jones/Pool/AFP)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - APRIL 17: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Peter Phillips and Prince Harry during the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on April 17, 2021 in Windsor, England. Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born 10 June 1921, in Greece. He served in the British Royal Navy and fought in WWII. He married the then Princess Elizabeth on 20 November 1947 and was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by King VI. He served as Prince Consort to Queen Elizabeth II until his death on April 9 2021, months short of his 100th birthday. His funeral takes place today at Windsor Castle with only 30 guests invited due to Coronavirus pandemic restrictions. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert-Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)
The brothers walked either side of their cousin Peter Philips during the procession. (Mark Cuthbert-Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)

Read more: Why did Prince George wear a suit to the England match?

Despite initial speculation that the event would include Kate, William's wife, she is not on the guestlist for the unveiling, perhaps to mirror that Meghan could not fly over from California, having recently given birth to daughter Lilibet.

Instead the two brothers and close family of Diana will be there, alongside the garden designer Pip Morrison and sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. 

A royal source told PA: "Plans have been scaled back due to the current COVID-19 restrictions and media arrangements reflect both the size and tone of the event."

It's likely the family of Diana will include her brother Charles the Earl Spencer and sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale. 

Although she won't attend, there's been pressure on the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, who has been dubbed the peacemaker between the brothers.

Watch: Prince William remembers Duke of Edinburgh in Glasgow

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Kate has always been close to Harry and it was her careful manoeuvring after the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh that ensured William spoke to his younger brother on the walk between the chapel and the castle back in April.

But there is speculation that even something honouring their late mother will not be enough for the two to reconcile.

Harry gave a nod to the event on Monday in a surprise video appearance for the Diana Awards, but found himself accused of trying to "mark his Spencer territory" by making remarks before his brother had been able to.

Angela Levin, who spent time with Harry and subsequently wrote the book Conversations With The Prince, said: "Is it just coincidence that Harry’s words about the Princess were made public before his elder brother had made the first, official speech? 

"Or was this video performance a way of taking ownership of their mother’s legacy for himself, albeit couched in the language of LA therapy? 

"Having given up his place in the Windsors, has Harry decided to mark his Spencer territory?"

Harry described his relationship with William as "space" and previously said they were on "different paths", back in October 2019.

Diana Princess Of Wales, Prince William & Prince Harry Visit The 'Thorpe Park' Amusement Park. (Photo by Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)
Diana with Harry and William at Thorpe Park in 1993. (Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)

The statue was commissioned by the brothers in 2017, as they marked 20 years since Diana's death, a point at which they said they would not be speaking about her again.

A six-strong team including Lady Sarah, Julia Samuel, a godparent of Prince George and friend of Diana, and Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the brothers’ former principal private secretary, decided who would make the statue and raised the funds.

Its unveiling has been delayed in part by coronavirus restrictions.

The delay has meant there's a stark contrast between where the brothers were when it was commissioned and where they are now.

They live thousands of miles apart, with Harry and Meghan settled into life in California, her home state.

The couple run a non-profit, and have deals with Spotify and Netflix.

A view of the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, the former home of Diana, Princess of Wales, where her sons, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, will put their differences aside when they unveil a statue in her memory on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Wednesday June 30, 2021. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace where the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex will unveil a statue of Diana in her memory on what would have been her 60th birthday. (Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
A gardener works in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, the former home of Diana, Princess of Wales, where her sons, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, will put their differences aside when they unveil a statue in her memory on what would have been her 60th birthday. Picture date: Wednesday June 30, 2021. (Photo by Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Sunken Garden was a favourite spot of the late princess. (Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images)

Harry has talked of the "cycle of pain" in his family and his upbringing, even suggesting his father Prince Charles and William are "trapped" in royal life.

By contrast, William and Kate spend their time in London and Norfolk, continuing their work for the Queen.

The brothers are not thought to be in regular contact. 

In a statement when the project was announced, the brothers said: "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."

It remains to be seen on Thursday how that legacy will be reflected by them. 

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