The Princess Diana statue was one of the most anticipated memorial unveilings in modern history, with all eyes on her sons Prince Harry and Prince William as they poignantly reunited amid their rumoured ongoing feud.
The statue, which resides in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, was sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley in honour of what would have been the late princess’ 60th birthday last month.
Joining forces in a joint statement, the two princes said, “Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better.
“Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and legacy.”
Now, ahead of the 24th anniversary of her death, Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) have announced that members of the public will be granted special access to the statue to pay their respects next Tuesday – a move that was no doubt given full approval by the late princess’ sons.
The statue can usually only be seen by the general public from Wednesday to Sunday, owing to Kensington Palace’s reduced opening days as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But special arrangements have been made on 31 August to allow visitors to view the memorial from the Cradle Walk around the Sunken Garden from 3pm to 5pm.
Access to the walkway will be freely available, so visitors who wish to visit the statue won’t need to book or pay, but HRP have said that visitors will not be able to approach the statue or leave flowers at its base.
The Sunken Garden, which was a reported favourite of Princess Diana’s, has always limited public access to the walkway, even before the memorial’s arrival.
“We acknowledge that there will be interest in viewing the statue on that day. So we will be providing access to the Cradle Walk which is essentially the beautiful walkway around the Sunken Garden,” a spokesperson for HRP said today.
“We will be opening that up, freely available, for passers-by or anybody who wants to stop and take a moment on that Tuesday, specially for the anniversary.”
It’s thought that Prince William and Prince Harry will celebrate the anniversary privately.