Princess Diana would have celebrated her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021, and to honor this milestone, a statue of the late royal will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace and unveiled on that date.
The statue was originally commissioned in 2017 by her sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, to mark the 20th anniversary of her death. At first, it was scheduled to be installed in 2019, and now, the installation has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The fact that is has been delayed has ended up meaning that it will be installed on a date next year that is particularly poignant,” ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy told “Good Morning America.”
The princes chose artist Ian Rank-Broadley to create the tribute sculpture for their mother. Rank-Broadley also created the image of Queen Elizabeth that has been used on all British coins since 1998.
“It is my sole and highest intention to fulfill the expectations of Their Royal Highnesses in creating a lasting and fitting memorial to their late mother Diana, Princess of Wales,” Rank-Bradley said in 2017 statement, according to People.
On Aug. 28, Prince William and Prince Harry issued a rare joint statement about the forthcoming statue.
“The statue will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking The Princess’s 60th birthday,” according to the statement from the Kensington Palace offices of Prince William Duchess Kate Middleton. “The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.”
In 2017, the brothers released the following statement regarding the significance of the statue: “It has been 20 years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue. Our mother touched so many lives.”