Princess Diana statue: How much did it cost and how can the public see it?
Prince William and Harry were left shattered as young children when they tragically lost their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997. The princess was just 36 when she died in an accident in Paris on 31 August 1997. At the time, Prince William was 15 and Harry, the Duke of Sussex, was just 12. The pain was understandably unbearable for both princes.
Though William has never wallowed in his grief, at least in public, Harry has admitted in the past that he struggled with substance abuse after her death. In the years that followed, a lot has changed in the royal family, especially between the brothers. But William and Harry came together to celebrate their mother's memory in a more eternal way on July 1, 2021. The date is significant because it would have been Diana’s 60th birthday. The brothers' main task of the day was unveiling a life-size statue of their late mother Princess Diana on the grounds of her former home, Kensington Palace.
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What is the statue's cost?
The cost of the statue has reportedly not been disclosed to the public. But, a 2017 joint press release from William and Harry stated that the brothers “have convened a committee to privately raise funds for the creation of the statue.” In the same statement released by Kensington Palace, the princes had said, “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. We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy.”
According to reports, the statue took about four years to complete and was created by British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. Earlier, the unveiling event reportedly was to be attended by over 100 people. However, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic very few people will be present. A Kensington Palace spokesperson said, “Prince William and Prince Harry will attend a small event to mark the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on Thursday 1st July. In addition to close family of Diana, Princess of Wales, members of the statue committee, the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, and garden designer, Pip Morrison, will also be present.” A palace source reportedly also added that while "the Diana statue is the focal point but the work has cost Historic Royal Palaces quite a bit and it's been a struggle to pay because of the pandemic, which closed Kensington Palace - and the other HRP sites - to the public for a number of months."
The new Sunken Garden redesign includes 200 roses, 500 lavender plants, 100 dahlias, 50 sweet peas, 300 tulips, and 100 forget-me-nots — the Princess of Wales' favorite flower. Over 4,000 flowers were planted since the work on the garden first began in October 2019, with gardeners spending a total of 1,000 hours on the mass planting project. Created by garden designer Pip Morrison, the new layout includes gorgeous bright new blooms, while "retaining the historic structures". "This has been a very special project to work on, as the Sunken Garden was a favourite place of Diana, Princess of Wales," Pip Morrison told Tatler. "We have worked carefully to ensure that the new layout and planting scheme complements the statue, providing a calming place for people who visit Kensington Palace to remember The Princess."
Can public watch statue's unveiling?
The event is reportedly not being televised and also “will not be visible from the Broadwalk or surrounding area”. Reportedly, it will be a “small event and a very personal moment for the family.” But since Diana’s statue will be erected in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, where monuments of King William III and Queen Victoria are also there, people can visit and view the statue after its unveiling. As per reports, from Friday, July 2, onwards it will be open for public viewing. People do not need to pay anything to see the statue. But to tour Kensington Palace, people have to pay $31 (£23) and children $15 (£11.50). For members of the public, Kensington Palace opens only on Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.