Princess Diana is coming home and will soon be able to watch over her beloved children and grandchildren.
A statue of the Princess of Wales is set to be erected on the grounds of Kensington Palace, at the request of her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, hopefully before the end of the year. This August will mark the 20th anniversary of her death.
While parts of the palace are open to the public, the complex contains the princes’ homes. Harry lives alone while William shares an apartment with wife Kate Middleton and their children Prince George, 3, and Princess Charlotte, 1. Diana herself lived in a Kensington Palace apartment and raised her sons there. She also continued to live there after she and their father, Prince Charles, divorced.
“It has been 20 years since our mother’s death and the time is right to recognize her positive impact in the U.K. and around the world with a permanent statue,” William and Harry said in a statement released by Kensington Palace Saturday.
“Our mother touched so many lives,” they said. “We hope the statue will help all those who visit when it will be unveiled. It is hoped that this will occur before the end of 2017.”
Diana, known for her charity work around the world, was killed in a car accident in Paris in August 1997 after being chased by paparazzi. She was 36. William was 15 and Harry was 12. More than 2.5 billion people around the world watched her public funeral on television.
“The princes have convened a committee to commission and privately raise funds for the creation of the statue,” the statement added. “The committee will advise on the selection of the sculptor and will work with Historic Royal Palaces on the statue’s installation in the public gardens at Kensington Palace.”
Diana’s sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and friend Julia Samuel, who is also George’s godmother, will be members of the six-person committee, The Guardian reported.