And let me tell you why… because when I visited Kensington Palace on February 14, 2020, I was anxious to see a shrine to my favorite girl… and was thoroughly disappointed to find a dimly lit hallway with dress sketches, one red ensemble, another dimly lit hallway with Princess Diana wallpaper (which was kind of cool tbh), and a large portrait.
That was it.
I had waited 34 years and traveled over 5,000 miles at the beginning of a global pandemic for this. We asked a member of the staff if they had anything else Diana related on the property. She told us there was a Princess Diana statue in the Sunken Garden.
I have witnesses.
She told me there was a Princess Diana statue in the Sunken Garden on February 14, 2020. I wandered aimlessly around a very bare Sunken Garden until I gave up all hope and exited the property to explore the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain in Hype Park. There was no water in said “fountain.”
I have no idea if the employee was ill-informed or just hated me because she knew I’d taken pictures when I was specifically instructed not to. The trip was saved by a marriage proposal (did I bury the lede?) but my point is that as a Princess Diana fan, I left Kensington Palace kind of disappointed.
The ACTUAL Princess Diana statue made its Sunken Garden debut TODAY in a casual and brief ceremony executed by her sons. Is the WWE belt a little much? Perhaps. But as someone that loves Princess Diana, I am excited to see something so significant added to the property where people that love her can congregate and remember her fierce spirit!
While I would argue that Princess Diana is one of THE most beautiful women in the world, I understand that it is hard for artists to translate that beauty through paint, sketch, or sculpture. (Google it. You’ll hate me.) It’s difficult to capture her essence when so much of her beauty came from her heart. She radiated from within. I was pleasantly surprised by Ian Rank-Broadley‘s ability to capture Diana’s warm essence in his sculpture. She seems at peace.
But mostly I just appreciate the fact that the next time I visit Kensington Palace, I get to sit and visit with Diana.
The royal family owes a debt of gratitude to the princess. It’s been 40 years since she married into the Mountbatten-Windsor crew and it is Diana’s story, style, and legacy that introduces new generations to the monarchy. I’m sitting over here in Los Angeles, California. What the royal family does typically does not affect me in any way shape or form… but now I care and I care about them and I support them because of her.
A statue is the least they could do.
PS. I know most of you just want to talk about how Prince William and Prince Harry behaved towards each other so here is what I told Clevver News:
This was their joint statement to media:
“Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better,” they said. “Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.”
Kudos to Diana’s sons for showing up and making the day about their Mother.