Prince Harry and William to reunite at unveiling of Diana statue as they move past rift

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Prince Harry and William to reunite at unveiling of Diana statue as they move past rift

The Duke of Sussex is determined to stand shoulder to shoulder with his brother at the unveiling of a statue of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, whatever the fallout from his interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Prince Harry hopes that the brothers can present a united front at Kensington Palace on July 1, which would have been the Princess’s 60th birthday, in an attempt to move past their rift.

A source close to Prince Harry insisted that whatever had been said and done, he desperately hoped to attend the event and considered it a priority.

There is more uncertainty about whether the Duke might make it back to the UK for earlier events, such as Trooping the Colour on June 12 or the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday on June 10, partly due to the impending birth of his second child, thought to be due around that time.

Despite the explosive nature of the revelations made to Ms Winfrey, the Sussexes consider the interview their last word on the subject and want to move on.

They felt they needed to have their say and explain to the public why they turned their backs on royal life, but now consider the matter closed, sources said.

One friend said: “It was something they felt they wanted and needed to do but now they have done it, they feel a line has been drawn under that chapter of their lives and they want to move on.”

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To emphasise that point, the couple will announce a raft of new work projects in the days and weeks to come, from plans for their Archewell Foundation to productions connected to their Spotify and Netflix deals.

They will also reveal how they will build on their collaboration with the World Central Kitchen, which helps people in the wake of natural disasters and other crises, their support for a Texan women’s shelter damaged by storms and their International Women’s Day campaign.

“There will definitely be more in the days and weeks to come across the board,” one source said. “You will get a sense of their next steps in terms of their work with the foundation and other projects.”

The notion that the couple could make such a raft of damaging allegations against “The Firm” and then simply walk away, might be wishful thinking, however.

By outlining their personal grievances in such detail, and in such a high profile manner, many feel the couple are simply opening themselves up to more of the public scrutiny that they so detest.

Buckingham Palace aides have described the interview as a “media circus” with which they do not wish to be involved.

However, it has been claimed that if the couple attack specific individuals, they are prepared to retaliate with fresh disclosures about their behaviour, describing the interview as a “high stakes move.”

The Sussexes have not been paid for the interview and no donation to charity is being made on their behalf.

By contrast, Ms Winfrey’s media empire stands to rake in up to £6.5 million for the rights while CBS is reported to have negotiated a license fee of between $7 million and $9 million (£5 and £6.5 million) for the two-hour primetime special.

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The Diana statue is being made by Ian Rank-Broadley, a Gloucestershire-based sculptor who specialises in larger-than-life-size figures, and whose portrait of the Queen appears on all UK coins.

Its unveiling, in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden, will mark the first time that the two brothers have been seen together since the Commonwealth Day service last March.

The event marked the Sussexes’ last official engagement in the UK but was overshadowed by the animosity on display. The Sussexes and the Cambridges barely acknowledged each other, the extent of their rift plain to see.

Neither of their wives are expected to be at the ceremony, ensuring that the focus is very much on the brothers, who were 15 and 12 when their mother was killed in a car crash in Paris on Aug 31 1997.

The memorial was supposed to have been installed in Kensington Palace Gardens in 2019 but was delayed after her sons decided they needed more time to “get it right”.

There were suggestions that a feud between the brothers had caused the project to stall amid reports that they were “barely on speaking terms”.

The Dukes jointly commissioned the statue to mark the 20th anniversary of their mother’s death, and recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world.

They first announced plans for the statue in January 2017. That August, they marked the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death with a memorial White Garden, on the same grounds they had played in as children in Kensington Palace.

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