The Princess Diana memorial statue will be opened to the public for this sad reason

On Thursday 1 July, what would have been Princess Diana‘s 60th birthday, her two sons, Princes William and Harry, unveiled a memorial statue of their late mother in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden.

princess Diana statue
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The statue, created by Ian Rank-Broadley (a favoured sculptor of the royals), immortalises the ‘People’s Princess’ in bronze, standing with three children around her – her arms around the shoulders of two with another child behind – who are said to ‘represent the universality and generational impact of The Princess’ work’ a Kensington Palace statement confirmed.

princess Diana statue
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As for Princess Diana’s memorial statue outfit, she is wearing an open shirt and knee-length pencil skirt with a wide belt. As a woman remembered as much for her fashion sense as her charitable work and nature, this outfit signifies just as much as the figures around her, with Kensington Palace stating that the ‘style of dress was based on the final period of her life as she gained confidence in her role as an ambassador for humanitarian causes and aims to convey her character and compassion.’

princess Diana
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Although not officially confirmed, it’s safe to assume that this outfit was not just thought up as it very closely resembles an outfit Diana once wore. In a photograph that was used on Diana’s Christmas card in 1993, the Princess of Wales is pictured with her sons William and Harry and she is wearing a very similar outfit to that of her statue, with matching details including the large rectangular belt buckle, thin pleats on the shirt, stand up collar and open buttons.

Princess Diana Christmas card
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Interestingly, this was the first Christmas card Diana sent out following her separation from Prince Charles, which is why it shows the mother and sons as a family of three and not four. That makes it a particularly significant image, as it is one of the first official photographs of Diana as a single woman and mother, which chimes perfectly with Kensington Palace’s description of Princess Diana’s memorial statue outfit as reflecting ‘the final period of her life as she gained confidence in her role’.

Since the unveiling of the statue, visitors have only been able to see it from Wednesday to Sunday. But, an exception has been made to mark the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. People will now be able to visit the statue between 3pm and 5pm on Tuesday 31 August, marking 24 years since Diana died.

A spokesman for Historic Royal Palaces said: ‘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.

‘We will be opening that up, freely available, for passers-by or anybody who wants to stop and take a moment on that Tuesday, especially for the anniversary.’

Unfortunately, visitors won’t be able to lay flowers by the statue because public access into the Sunken Garden is still restricted.