“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. 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. Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, Pip Morrison and their teams for their outstanding work, to the friends and donors who helped make this happen, and to all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive,” reads the statement.
Images from the unveiling event show William and Harry chatting and even laughing with each other, though lately they have been plagued by stories of a feud between them, fueled by the bombshell interview Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, gave to Oprah Winfrey in March of this year. In the revelatory sit-down, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who now reside in Montecito, California, alleged that Meghan experienced racism from members of the royal family. Meghan, who gave birth to the couple’s second child, a daughter named Lilibet, in June, did not accompany Harry back to the U.K. for the statue unveiling.
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Though the ceremony today was a private affair, the Sunken Garden will be open to the public going forward.