Princess Diana gets statue 20 years after her death

Prince Harry with a photo of his mother, Princess Diana, posing with staff and service users of The Running Charity.
Prince Harry with a photo of his mother, Princess Diana, posing with staff and service users of The Running Charity.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Britain's Prince William and his younger brother Harry have commissioned a statue in honour of their mother Princess Diana, who died in a Paris car crash 20 years ago, to be erected outside their official London home, their office said last Saturday.

Diana, the first wife of the brothers' father and heir-to-the- throne Prince Charles, was killed when the limousine carrying her and her lover Dodi Al-Fayed crashed in a Paris tunnel in August 1997. William was 15 and Harry was 12 at the time.

"It has been 20 years since our mother's death and the time is right to recognise her positive impact in the United Kingdom and around the world with a permanent statue," Prince William, 34, said in a statement.

The princes have formed a committee to advise on the sculptor and raise private funds to pay for the statue, which will be located in a public garden at Kensington Palace. Work on the statue will begin soon and it is hoped that it will be unveiled before the end of the year, the statement from their office said.

The first permanent memorial to her, a 210m-long fountain, was unveiled in Hyde Park in 2004 after years of bureaucratic wrangling and squabbling over the design. It had to be closed down a number of times after its opening and a committee of lawmakers later said it was "ill-conceived and ill-executed".

Prince William announced earlier this month that he would move into Kensington Palace with his wife Kate and children, George and Charlotte, from his current home in eastern England when he gives up his job as an air ambulance pilot to focus on royal duties full-time later this year.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2017, with the headline 'Princess Diana gets statue 20 years after her death'. Print Edition | Subscribe