There’s been plenty of talk recently about the upcoming Diana memorial, which will be unveiled in July 2021. From who designed the statue and whether Harry and Meghan will be attending the ceremony to why it’s been the focus of so much speculation, here’s everything you need to know.
What is the Diana memorial?
On July 1, a statue of Princess Diana is set to be installed in the Sunken garden at Kensington Palace. It is being erected to mark what would have been the Princess Of Wales’ 60th birthday. Diana died in a car crash on August 31, 1997.
The monument was actually commissioned over four years ago in 2017 by Prince Harry and Prince William. It is designed to recognise and honour their late mother’s legacy.
“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,” the brothers said in a statement.
“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.”
Will Harry & Meghan attend the unveiling?
There’s been plenty of talk about whether The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be attending the unveiling of the memorial in July. Although there was speculation that Meghan would be joining Harry (or that their children may join them), he is taking the trip over alone for the occasion.
A Kensington Palace statement released on June 25 confirmed Prince Harry would be flying solo at the event, without his wife. It also stated that other close family of Diana’s would be in attendance.
It is currently unknown how long the Duke will remain in the UK, but he is set to stay at Frogmore Cottage, with Harpers Bazaar US royal reporter Omid Scobie confirming Prince Harry would be remaining in quarantine at the house for five days before the memorial event, in accordance with England’s Test To Release scheme. Harry has reportedly been invited over to the Queen’s for lunch at some point during his stay.
Will William and Kate be there?
Prince William’s attendance at the event was confirmed alongside Prince Harry’s in the same Kensington Palace statement. The Sun has reported that the brothers will each make a speech honouring their late mother.
The statement makes no mention of the Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, so it seems safe to infer that ,like Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, she will not be in attendance.
Why is the memorial getting so much press attention?
Aside from the fact that Princess Diana’s life and death is still the focus of much public and press interest, relations between Harry and his family have perhaps never been under so much scrutiny. Given the rift between Meghan and Harry and the wider royal family, and the allegations of racism the couple made in their interview with Oprah, the atmosphere at the unveiling and the behaviour of Princes William and Harry towards one another has been the source of much speculation in recent weeks.
As at the funeral of the pair’s grandfather Prince Philip, eyes will be on the brothers for clues as to the warmth of feeling between them. According to Vanity Fair, sources have said that Prince Harry and brother William have been working on their relationship ahead of the event, but that things are still tense.
“There have been conversations, after [Harry & Meghan’s daughter] Lili was born and to make plans for next week, but things are still very strained,” the source told Vanity Fair.
Who designed the statue?
The memorial has been designed by Ian Rank-Broadley, an artist perhaps best known for being the man behind the portraits of the Queen that appear on UK coins. He has also recently completed work on the Armed Forces Memorial.
Rank-Broadley’s work will join two existing odes to Princess Diana: the Diana Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park, and a memorial garden known as the White Garden at Kensington Palace. He will be in attendance at the unveiling.
Can the public visit the memorial?
Following its unveiling, members of the public will be able to see the statue as visitors are allowed at Kensington Palace Gardens. You do not need a ticket to visit.
The statue has been designed in part for the public to remember Diana, as the brother’s explain when they wrote the following in their 2017 statement: “We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.”
This article was originally published on