“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,” the brothers said in a statement released by Kensington Palace.
It was the first time William and Harry had been together since the funeral of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, in April and will be seen as a healing moment for the brothers after a turbulent past few years.
The pair seemed at ease during the event, and were filmed smiling and laughing with other attendees.
Kensington Palace said the statue aims to “reflect the warmth, elegance and energy” of Princess Diana and the children surrounding her “represent the universality and generational impact” of her work.
The statue was sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley, known for his portrait of the Queen that graces British and Australian coins, and is 1.25x life-size.
It sits in the sunken gardens of Kensington Palace, one of Diana’s favorite spots, which has undergone a nearly-two year redesign by garden designer Pip Morrison.
There were no speeches at the tightly-controlled private event, which was attended by a handful of people including Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, as well as members of the statue committee.