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Harry arrives in UK ahead of unveiling of Diana statue

·2-min read

The Duke of Sussex has arrived in the UK ahead of the unveiling of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales’ statue – commissioned to honour her memory.

Harry jetted to England on Friday and will now quarantine as the final preparations are made for the ceremony next Thursday.

The event will be a “very personal moment” for the the princess’ sons and close family, a royal source has said.

Duke of Edinburgh funeral
William and Harry commissioned the statue of their mother (Gareth Fuller/PA)

But the plans have been scaled back with many of Diana’s friends and colleagues unable to attend due to Covid regulations.

The Daily Mail claims the princess’s friends were left disappointed by the move and a separate larger event is likely to take place in September.

A spokeswoman for Harry confirmed the duke had arrived “safely” at his private residence Frogmore Cottage close to the Queen’s Windsor Castle home.

Diana’s sons will put their differences aside for the event on July 1, which will take place on what would have been their mother’s 60th birthday.

Kensington Palace has confirmed the royal brothers and Diana’s close family – thought to be her siblings – and others involved in organising the statue will attend the ceremony in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace.

Royalty – Princess of Wales Funeral – Westminster Abbey, London
William and Harry with their father the Prince of Wales on the day of Diana’s funeral (Adam Butler/PA)

A royal source said: “This is a small event and a very personal moment for the family.

“Plans have been scaled back due to the current Covid-19 restrictions and media arrangements reflect both the size and tone of the event.”

Diana’s sons commissioned the artwork in 2017 – the 20th anniversary year of her death – to celebrate the princess’s life and legacy through the creation of a permanent statue.

The unveiling has been delayed, with the Covid-19 pandemic playing a part in the ceremony now taking place 60 years after the princess was born.

William and Harry’s troubled relationship is well documented but their mother will be their focus next Thursday as they commemorate her life.

In a statement when the project was announced, the royal brothers said: “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.”

Among those attending the unveiling will be members of the statue committee, sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley who created the artwork, and garden designer Pip Morrison.

Harry lives in California with wife Meghan and their two children and as America is on the UK Government’s amber list for Covid-19 he must quarantine for 10 days, but can end his isolation early under the test to release scheme if coronavirus tests taken on day two and five are negative.

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