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Princes William And Harry To Unveil Diana Statue

Princes William and Harry will unveil a statue to their mother Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday, as their royal rift simmers in the background.

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex will put their differences aside to unveil a statue to their mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday. The statue in honour of Diana, who was killed in a Paris car crash in 1997, will be revealed on Thursday in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace in central London, her former home.

The build-up to the event has been the subject of intense media focus, with Princes William and Harry barely speaking to each other after a public falling out. "I think it's going be very awkward," royal commentator Penny Junor told Reuters. "They will put on a show because the cameras will be there, but neither of them is very good at hiding their emotions."

William was 15 and Harry 12 when the limousine carrying their mother and her lover Dodi al-Fayed crashed in a tunnel in Paris as it sped away from chasing photographers. In 2017, they commissioned the statue to mark her legacy and life, selecting sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, whose effigy of the Queen has been used on British and Commonwealth coinage, as its designer.

It will be unveiled at what officials describe as a small event attended by a select group of attendees including the princes and Diana's close family at Kensington Palace, where William, 39, now lives with his family. Harry, 36, also used to live at the palace, but his home is now in California after he and his American wife Meghan stepped down from official royal duties last year.

He has since launched some barbed attacks on his family and the royal institutions, including an accusation of racism he and Meghan made in an interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey, which media reports say has infuriated his brother.

The brothers last saw each other in April at the funeral of their grandfather Prince Philip, after which they are reported to have argued. What does unite them is grief for their mother, who became a household name around the world after her marriage to the heir to the throne Prince Charles in 1981.

Michael Holden - AAP