There is no doubt that this past year has been an active one for Britain’s Royal Family. The Queen and her husband Prince Philip celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary, Prince William and his wife Kate announced that a third child is on the way, and Prince Harry got engaged to American Meghan Markle!
In the midst of all the current hoopla, the memory of one lingering phenomenon has risen from the shadows and shown itself during the 2017 calendar year: the death of the world’s beloved Princess Diana. This year marked the 20th anniversary of her tragic death.
Surely the Royal Family has celebrated the many blessings that this year has brought them, however not a day goes by that they don’t remember their dear Diana - especially William and Harry who were very young when they lost their mum. Princess Diana died 20 years ago on August 31, 1997, in a tragic paparazzi-triggered car accident. While the world has mourned her loss, her memory has been carried out honorably by her sons.
Earlier this year, plans were announced for a sculpture in her honor. This statement was released by the Princes: “It has been twenty years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognize her positive impact in the U.K. 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 legacy.” Truly, they are thrilled to be able to recognize their mother in such a magnificent way.
When the news became public millions rejoiced in the decision to finally recognize Princess Diana. While there are countless statues of members of the notable British monarchy, there are none that recognize removed royalty, which Diana became after she and Prince Charles divorced in 1996.
While this statue seems only fitting to those who cherish the memory of Princess Di, there are some who disagree with its creation and location. At the time of her death, Diana had been gone from the Royal Family for nearly a year; that is why it is such an unusual move. Considering the strict protocol that controls every move the Royals make, erecting a statue in her honor at Kensington Palace has no precedent and is considered, by some, an aberration.
The statue will be completed in 2019 and will be displayed at none other than Kensington Palace, where Diana lived as Princess of Wales. Below is a picture that was taken in the days when Princess Di and Prince Charles called Kensington Palace "home." Kensington Palace also served as the memorial grounds after her tragic death.
The man who will be sculpting the likeness is the same artist who designed The Queen’s currency: Ian Rank-Broadley. Rank-Broadley has been working with the Royals for years and never imagined being chosen to honor the late princess (especially since she had been stripped of her royal title). Nonetheless, he is grateful, honored, and excited to begin a masterpiece in her name.
The future is exciting for The Royals and we can’t wait to see the project come to fruition! 2019 will be an exciting year for the world and, until then, we will patiently await the unveiling of Princess Diana’s eagerly-anticipated statue.