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Princes William and Harry announce sculptor for new Diana statue

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.

FILE: Britain's Prince William and Prince Harry walk to the church for the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews on 20 May 2017. Picture: AFP

LONDON - A sculptor who produced the image of Queen Elizabeth used on Britain’s coins has been chosen to create a new statue of Princess Diana, the office of Princes William and Harry said on Sunday, to commemorate 20 years since her death.

Ian Rank-Broadley, whose effigy of the Queen has appeared on all UK and Commonwealth coinage since 1998, will design the statue, which now will not be unveiled until next year.

“Ian is an extremely gifted sculptor and we know that he will create a fitting and lasting tribute to our mother,” Prince William and his younger brother Harry said in a statement.

In January, the brothers commissioned a statue in honour of their mother, who died in a Paris car crash 20 years ago to be erected outside their official London home Kensington Palace.

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 was 12 at the time.

“We have been touched by the kind words and memories so many people have shared about our mother over these past few months,” the brothers said. “It is clear the significance of her work is still felt by many in the UK and across the world, even twenty years after her death.”

It had been hoped that the statue would be unveiled before the end of the year to mark the anniversary, but Kensington Palace said that it was now envisaged that the statue would be unveiled in 2019.

The first permanent memorial to her, a 210-metre long fountain was unveiled in Hyde Park in 2004 after years of bureaucratic wrangling and squabbling over the design.

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