On what would have been Princess Diana's birthday her statue will be unveiled but her ex-husband has decided to steer clear of the event as it could bring back "happy, sad and regretful" memories."
Thursday, July 1, marks what would have been the 60th birthday of the late Princess Diana. To commemorate the poignant day, an event will be held at the Kensington Palace where the Princess of Wales' statue will be officially unveiled. The Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge expected to put their differences aside on that day and pay tribute to their beloved mother. However, their father will not be attending the unveiling of his late wife's statue. A source close to the Royals said that the Prince of Wales feels that attending the event could "resurface old wounds" and bring back "happy, sad and regretful" memories.
Back in 2017, Prince William, 39, and Prince Harry, 36, attended a private service of "prayer and reflection" at their mother's grave on the grounds of Althorp House in Northamptonshire. While they paid tribute to their mother, Prince Charles did not. According to Daily Mail, he was over 3,000 miles away on an official visit to Canada back then. To date, he has been unable to come to terms with the memories of his late wife who died in a car crash in Paris. "He does find it terribly difficult," shared a close friend of Charles while speaking to The Times. "These moments have the potential to resurface old wounds, and it brings back memories for him; happy, sad, regretful."
The source continued, "Since Diana's death, he has felt it best to keep those memories to himself and leave his sons to it." Previously, another source told The Sun, that Charles has been very clear about leaving Diana's tribute to his boys. "Charles has made it quite clear he will not be around beyond that because he is going to Scotland. There is no planned meeting between the three of them. Charles will leave the boys to it," they said. The news about Charles not attending the emotional events comes right after reports that Prince William will be visiting his mother's statue ahead of the official unveiling along with his wife and children.
William is expected to observe the memorial privately with his family in Kensington Palace's Sunken Garden first, before joining his brother Harry for the official event. It is said the Duke of Cambridge wanted his wife Kate and their kids Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis to see the statue before the rest of the world. A huge box has been carefully placed over the plinth covering the piece which will be revealed to the world son. Per the Telegraph, Prince Harry is also expected to view the statue separately but currently, he is quarantining at Frogmore cottage in Windsor after arriving from his California home.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the unveiling ceremony has been heavily scaled back. It will be attended by only a handful of guests, including Diana's sons and the Spencer relatives. Only one pool reporter and broadcaster will be allowed to attend. The estranged brothers will be giving separate speeches paying tribute to their mother's legacy and will also thank sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley for creating the statue of their beloved mum. The piece which was originally supposed to be unveiled in 2017 got delayed due to several reasons, including deciding which period of Diana's life should the statue represent.
While some had reservations about the sculptor being able to behold the real Diana, others were worried that it would become a shrine. But after much debate and meetings, the plan to create a statue to remember her by was accepted. The Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace was then chosen to be the best location for it as it was the late Princess's favorite spot for reflection during her stay.
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Kirsty O'Connor - WPA Pool (L) Photo by Stuart C. Wilson (R)