(CNN) – The princes William Y Harry They will put aside their differences to appear together this Thursday at the unveiling of a statue honoring their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, at the Kensington Palace Sunken Garden.
The statue will be presented at a ceremony that will take place this Thursday afternoon, when it would have been Diana’s 60th birthday, and which will be joined by members of her close family and other participants in the project.
Sculptor of the statue, Ian Rank-Broadley, whose effigy of Queen Elizabeth appears on UK coins, and garden designer Pip Morrison will be among the guests, as well as members of the statue committee.
This engagement marks the first time the brothers William and Harry will be seen together publicly since the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April. William and Harry lived at Kensington Palace with their mother before she was killed in a car crash in 1997.
Diana’s children jointly commissioned the work in 2017 – the 20th anniversary of her death – as they wanted to acknowledge the impact on her life with a permanent statue.
«Our mother touched so many lives. We hope the statue will help all who visit Kensington Palace reflect on his life and legacy, ”the children said in a joint statement announcing the project. They expected to unveil the statue later that year, but it was delayed.
One of Diana’s favorite places
The layout and plant scheme surrounding the new statue were drawn up by Morrison and produced by the Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) Gardens and Properties team, a charitable organization that manages several royal estates.
Morrison incorporated the existing historic garden structures with deep flower borders and a generous lawn around the pool “to create a calmer and more thoughtful setting for the statue,” according to Kensington Palace.
More than 4,000 flowers were selected for the project, including some of Diana’s favorites, such as forget-me-nots, as well as spring and summer flowers in various pastel shades, such as tulips, dahlias and lavender plants.
Prior to the opening, Morrison said in a Kensington Palace statement that “this has been a very special project to work on as the Sunken Garden was a favorite place for Diana, Princess of Wales.”
He added that the team focused on creating a space that would favor new works of art and provide a quiet space for visitors.
Graham Dillamore, HRP’s Deputy Head of Gardens and Properties, said in the same statement that Diana “frequently admired the changing flower displays at the Sunken Garden” and often stopped to speak with the gardeners who cared for it.
“More than three decades later, I am honored to have been part of the team that prepared the garden for the installation of this statue,” he commented, adding: “I hope that visitors to the palace and gardens enjoy their peaceful surroundings, and take a moment to reflect on the life and legacy of the princess.
Breakdown of ties between siblings
Returning to the gardens of their childhood home will be moving for the siblings and comes at a time when the royal family is under intense pressure.
For years in the media, there was speculation of a possible estrangement between the two, but Harry finally confirmed in a 2019 documentary that their relationship had grown apart.
“We are certainly on different paths at the moment,” said Harry, adding, “But I will always be there for him, as I know he will always be there for me.”
A relationship that gets worse
There is no doubt that the two will make a common front in the ceremony this Thursday, but it cannot be denied that, since that sincere confession, their relationship has only worsened.
In the years since the statue was commissioned, Harry married and raised a family with his wife Meghan. The brothers later parted ways with their joint Royal Foundation. And since then the Sussexes have chosen to move to another continent to escape the endless media intrusion they say they face, as well as their experience of racism within the royal family and the lack of support from the royal house.
It seems that things did not improve between the brothers, who barely spoke, and the royal family in general after the Sussexes’ explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.
In a later podcast appearance, Harry referred to his royal upbringing as a cycle of “pain and suffering” before he seemed to despise his father’s efforts in raising his children.
What activities has Harry done since arriving in the UK?
Returning to British soil will likely be a challenge for Harry, who recently revealed on his AppleTV + series that London was previously a “catalyst” for ill-health for him following the death of his mother.
But he has been keeping busy since landing in the British capital at the end of last week. The United States is on the UK’s ‘amber’ list, which means it had to pass quarantine upon arrival and complete a series of negative covid-19 tests in order to get out.
Once authorized, Harry set out to surprise sick children with an appearance at the WellChild Awards – a charity of which he is a sponsor – in Kew Gardens, west London, on Wednesday.
Earlier, while isolating himself at his Frogmore Cottage residence in Windsor, Harry sent a video message to the winners of this year’s Diana Award, an organization that prioritizes youth and change.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will not be at Thursday’s event as she remained in California after giving birth to the couple’s second daughter, Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, just a few weeks ago.
Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, whose childhood nickname was Lilibet, while her middle name, Diana, was chosen in honor of her grandmother, the couple said in a statement. Baby Lili is the sister of the couple’s 2-year-old son, Archie Harrison.
Activities of William and Queen Elizabeth
Meanwhile, it has also been a busy few days for William, who started the week in Scotland by accompanying the queen in a series of events. The 95-year-old queen traditionally takes on a week of engagement in the country in late June or early July each year to celebrate Scottish community, innovation and history.
On Tuesday, the Duke of Cambridge – who is president of the English Football Association – joined thousands of England football fans, including his wife Catherine and son Prince George, at Wembley Stadium to watch the victory. of his country in Euro 2020 against Germany.
The garden and the new statue of Diana are free to view during the opening hours of Historic Royal Palaces.
The Sunken Garden was created in 1908 by order of King Edward VII, in an area of the palace gardens that was previously occupied by flower pots and greenhouses. The garden design is inspired by the 17th century Dutch style pond garden at Hampton Court Palace.