The Diana statue has been unveiled in a private ceremony at Kensington Palace
1st July 2021

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For whatever record, when I repeatedly called it “the fakakta statue unveiling,” I wasn’t denigrating Princess Diana at all. I was trying to make fun of the way the British press was hyping “the statue unveiling” as some big, key moment in this particular royal narrative. Well, the statue was unveiled and Harry and William managed to get through the thirty-minute private event without a fist fight. Kate was not in attendance, but the Earl Spencer and Diana’s sisters were there. William and Harry consented to being photographed together without any buffer.

The actual statue is… not actually what I was expecting! It’s nice, and it shows a young-looking Diana surrounded by three children. Which is an interesting choice. Does anyone else think that the purpose of “three children” is to symbolize the Cambridge children and not Harry’s children? I do. The statue was organized around the same time that Kate was pregnant with Louis.

Omid Scobie posted the press release from Kensington Palace, with the agreed-upon joint statement of William and Harry, plus extensive details about the sculptor and the Sunken Garden. Underneath the Diana statue is an engraved stone with some lines from the poem “A Measure of a Man.” The lines: “These are the units to measure the worth/ Of this woman as a woman regardless of birth/Not what was her station?/But had she a heart?/How did she play her God-given part?”

— Omid Scobie (@scobie) July 1, 2021

Sidenote: on the day of Prince Philip’s funeral, I was surprised by CNN and MSNBC’s live coverage of the funeral procession, complete with commentary on the “rift” between Harry and William. I continue to be taken aback when legitimate media outlets cover the royal beat, especially when it’s the New York Times! The NYT has done several stories on the brothers’ fight, which says something about just how many people are aware of what’s happening. The Times did a preview, published this morning, of the unveiling where the flat-out reporting is that “William and Harry, by all accounts, are still barely on speaking terms.” Penny Junor is quoted too: “It’s going to take a lot for this rift to be healed. The initiative has to come from Harry, and it doesn’t seem to me that he is in any mood to do so.” I have zero idea why every single royal commentator has just repeated that talking point ad nauseum, but it must be coming from Kensington Palace. The people inside the institution know damn well that Engorged With Rage and his angry fists will never be diplomatic or conciliatory.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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