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New statue of UK's Princess Diana to be installed next year

FILE PHOTO: Flowers and tributes are left in memory of the late Princess Diana around the Liberty Flame monument at the Place de l'Alma, above the underpass where Diana Princess of Wales died in a car accident on August 31, 1997, in Paris, France, August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

LONDON (Reuters) - A new statue of Britain’s Princess Diana will be installed at Kensington Palace next July on what would have been her 60th birthday, the palace said on Friday, after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2017, Princes William and Harry said they had commissioned a statue in honour of their mother, who died in a Paris car crash more than 20 years ago, to be erected outside the older brother’s official London home, Kensington Palace.

Later that year, they chose sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, who produced the image of Queen Elizabeth used on Britain’s coins, to create the statue to commemorate 20 years since Diana’s death.

Diana, the first wife of the heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, was killed when the limousine carrying her and her lover Dodi al-Fayed crashed in a Paris tunnel in August 1997.

William was 15 and Harry 12 at the time.

The first permanent memorial to her, a 210-metre (689-foot) long fountain, was launched in Hyde Park in 2004 after years of bureaucratic wrangling and squabbling over the design. The new statue will be unveiled on July 1.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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