Prince Harry and William Diana statue statement analysed: What brothers really meant
Prince Harry and William 'performed well' says expert
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Prince Harry, 36, and Prince William, 39, appeared to have reconciled after months of tension when they stepped out to unveil a new statue of their mother Princess Diana on Thursday. The artwork stands in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace and was revealed on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday.
Harry and William are understood to have fallen out shortly before Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle in 2018 and since then a string of royal dramas have put further strain on their fraternal bond.
Before Harry and Meghan quit the Firm for good in March 2020, they separated their royal work from that of William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s by splitting from the Royal Foundation and establishing their own Sussex Royal body.
Since then joint statements from Harry and William have been extremely rare but they came together to commission a new statue in their mother’s memory.
On Thursday, Kensington Palace released a joint statement from the two princes that praised the new artwork and the renovations to the Sunken Garden which now reflects their mother’s taste in flowers.
The statement read: “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.”
Language expert and author Judi James analysed their words for Express.co.uk and shared her insights.
Judi said: “This is a short but also emotional and powerful statement that is made even more poignant by the fact that it is from both of the brothers, speaking jointly.”
While the statement is a collaboration, Judi claimed it also reflects Harry and William’s individual personalities.
She added: “Although the sentiments are very much from both, there are small touches in the wording that suggest individual influences as well as shared emotions.”
Despite speculation, the brothers have made peace, full reconciliation may be a long way off, Judi claimed.
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She added: “There are no guarantees that these two men might be on the brink of reuniting and I suspect the whole relationship could sadly tilt back into friction if yesterday’s show of unity isn’t capitalized on but a statement like this should remind them as well as us of the deeper bonds that tie them.”
Highlighting the five joint references contained in yesterday’s statement, Judi said: “There are five references to joint, unified, shared sentiments here: ‘…our mother’s 60th birthday’, ‘we remember her love’, ‘we wish she were still with us’, ‘our hope’ and another ‘our mother’.”
This use of language binds William and Harry together, Judi explained.
She added: “This wording binds the brothers together and suggests joined thinking and expression of those thoughts.”
“The most powerful and personal line is the one where they say ‘Every day we wish she were still with us’, which is the princes speaking together as sons rather than as brothers.”
Harry and William wish to remember their mother as “the woman she became” and not as a victim, Judi said.
She added: “Their personal love for their mother is also rich with pride for her personality and her work.
“It is clear from the words they use to describe her that they want the world to remember the woman she became, rather than the victim that she is often portrayed as.”
Judi said: “They say they remember her ‘love, strength and character’, promoting the word ‘strength’ in what looks like a timely correction to the legend that has grown around her memory, thanks to shows like The Crown and even her interview with Bashir.”
Harry’s wish to “make the world a better place” despite having quit royal life also comes through in the message, Judi said.
The analyst added: “The line about ‘making her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better’ is clearly a shared sentiment but it has a feel of Harry about it, with his global campaigning to ‘make the world a better place’.”
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