Prince Harry and Prince William almost look as though they’ve buried the hatchet, putting on a united front to celebrate their late mother’s 60th birthday.
The feuding brothers smiled and laughed with each other as they arrived together to Kensington Palace, looking to be in high spirits as they greeted the small number of guests at the unveiling of Princess Diana’s memorial statue.
Harry went on to joke with his mother’s siblings, kissing his aunt Lady Sarah McCorquodale on both cheeks before proceeding to give two more mock-pecks as she wagged her finger at him.
Moments later, the brothers came together again, with William seen asking “ready?” before they pulled back the sheet covering the statue they commissioned four years ago. They then stood back together to admire the work.
They continued chatting amongst themselves and with guests, appearing animated and jovial, even seeming to tease each other like the good old days at one point.
Shortly afterwards, the brothers released a joint statement via the Kensington Royal Twitter page.
“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,” it read.
“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,” they concluded, before signing off from “Prince William and Prince Harry.”
The grounds outside Kensington Palace were abuzz as members of the public eagerly awaited the moment.
According to The Sun, Prince Harry was seen leaving Windsor Castle in the back of a Land Rover earlier to meet his brother at Kensington Palace. He was then pictured standing shoulder-to-shoulder with William once he arrived.
Meanwhile, Diana’s brother Earl Charles Spencer and sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes arrived on foot.
The trio walked through the crowds, stopping to look at tributes to their sister.
Brothers come together for Diana
Warring brothers Harry and William reunited privately in the gardens of Kensington Palace after they’d reportedly been exchanging text messages in the past few days ahead of the event.
Today’s ceremony was small, with just a handful of guests including Diana’s closest relatives, a sculptor, landscape gardener and one photographer.
Royal fans gather
Visitors gathered excitedly outside the Palace and will be allowed inside to see the statue in the Sunken Garden, which is usually open to the public, following the private unveiling.
Many appear to have been waiting for hours before the event was set to take place, some placing flowers and tributes for the beloved People’s Princess to mark her 60th birthday.
Hopes for positive steps forward
As Princes Harry and William prepared to face each other amid their ongoing feud, royal sources weighed in on how the brothers were expected to appear to the public.
Royal reporter and close friend of the Sussexes Omid Scobie predicted they would “keep things professional” during the event, while another unnamed source told the Daily Mail they have actually been texting since Harry’s arrival.
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Prince Harry touched down solo in the UK last Friday. The 36-year-old made his first public appearance at the WellChild Awards in London yesterday following his five-day quarantine stint at Frogmore Cottage.
Before the unveiling, Omid Scobie downplayed what was likely to be a tense reunion after Harry’s recent bombshell interviews.
It comes after reports the two argued after the funeral of their grandfather Prince Philip, the last time Harry was in London in April.
“What we will see is two brothers being professional in a moment that is not about them,” Scobie said.
“This is going to be a moment we see them put everything to one side. We will just see professionalism and nothing else.”
Other signs between the brothers have reportedly been more positive.
According to the Daily Mail, sources close to their uncle, Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, said there was hope the emotional day would bring them together again. They have even organised to meet privately after the ceremony.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ shocking departure from royal life triggered 18 months of frostiness between the brothers, with Harry opening up about their rocky relationship in several interviews.
Tension remains from Harry’s last trip
At Prince Philip’s funeral, Harry and William looked far from mending their fractured bond, but it could shift after today, with the Daily Mail quoting an unnamed source who said they had been in contact.
The source claims the sport-loving princes texted in celebration of England’s win over Germany in the UEFA EURO 2020 before today.
“It is still far from good between them,” the source explained.
“But there has apparently been an exchange of messages, particularly about the football, which is a step in the right direction, if only to do honour to their mother.”
According to Robert Lacey, the author of Battle of Brothers, Prince Harry is prepared to admit his “sheer temper” played a part in his rift with William and Kate.
Harry’s visit marks the first time he has returned home since blasting the Royal Family on his mental health TV show, accusing them of “neglect”.
He also slammed Prince Charles and his childhood by claiming he moved his family to the US to “break the cycle of pain”.