Prince Harry and Prince William issue rare public statement on Princess Diana’s memorial

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TORONTO – Prince William and Prince Harry have released a new statement on plans for a statue to commemorate their mother, Princess Diana, breaking a long public silence of the brothers since Harry moved to California with his wife Meghan Markle. In an announcement published three days before the 23rd anniversary of Diana’s death, Harry and William revealed that a statue of their mother will be installed in the garden of Kensington Palace next year on the occasion of what would have been his 60th birthday.

“The princes hope the statue will help anyone visiting Kensington Palace reflect on their mother’s life and legacy,” the palace said in a statement on behalf of the offices of Prince William and Prince Harry.

The brothers have not spoken publicly together since Harry and Meghan moved to Santa Barbara, California earlier this year after a stint on Vancouver Island.

The joint statement comes just weeks after a new book by royal journalists Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claimed that Harry was furious when William suggested he “take as long as needed to get to know this girl”, referring to Meghan in the early days of their relationship.

The book, “Finding Freedom” claims that William didn’t want Harry to be “blinded by lust” and that Harry resented his brother’s “snobbish tone” when Meghan was called “that girl”.

Harry and Meghan left their duties as senior royals earlier this year to move to the United States, where they planned to start their own careers and plant roots with their son, Archie.

The couple offered a brief look at their new home earlier this month during a video call with members of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, where they discussed ways to use social media to effect positive change.

The Princess Diana statue was commissioned in 2017 to mark 20 years since she was killed in a car crash in Paris. She was 36 and William and Harry were 15 and 12 at the time.

The design of the statue has not yet been revealed, but the creator of the statue, Ian Rank-Broadley, was responsible for an image of Queen Elizabeth that appears on British coins.

The palace says the project remains on track, but the installation has been delayed due to COVID-19. The statue is scheduled to be installed on July 1, 2021.

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