Princess Diana’s statue unveiling was a sign of ‘the Spencer generation taking over’, says royal expert

Princess Diana's statue unveiling had strong representation from the Spencer family

Princess Diana’s statue unveiling was a sign of ‘the Spencer generation taking over’, says royal expert
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Princess Diana's statue unveiling guest list signified the 'Spencer generation taking over', according to a royal expert. 


Princess Diana's statue unveiling guestlist has revealed a power shift within the Royal Family, according to a royal biographer. 

Speaking on the Royal Beat, Robert Lacey argued that the notable lack of Windsors at yesterday's Kensington Palace memorial service was a symbol of the "Spencer generation taking over."

"There's no way the Queen would have put up a statue to Diana, obviously no way Charles would have put up a statue to Diana," he said. "So this is them. It's the new Spencer generation taking over. There’s not a Windsor in sight here, it’s that side of the family.”

The poignant ceremony, which had been delayed numerous times due to various factors, saw Prince Harry and Prince William come together with Diana's close relatives to celebrate what would have been her 60th birthday. The royal brothers teamed up to unveil the life-sized bronze statue of their late mother, before taking a moment of silence to remember her. They also shared some words with each other about the sculpture, before mingling with the other guests in attendance. 

Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex unveil a statue of their mother, Princess Diana at The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, London on July 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday. - Princes William and Harry set aside their differences on Thursday to unveil a new statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP) (Photo by DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Prince William and Prince Harry unveil Princess Diana's statue in celebration of her 60th birthday 

(Image credit: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Prince William had hoped to invite 100 people to the unveiling, but were forced to reduce the invitation list to adhere to new coronavirus restrictions. The service, which took place at Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace, was attended by just 13 people in the end. 

The unveiling had a noticeably strong representation from the Spencer family, with both Diana's sisters, Lady Sarah McCoquodale, and Lady Jane Fellowes, making a rare public appearance in honor of the special occasion. Earl Spencer, Diana's younger brother, was also present, traveling down to London from Diana's childhood home of Althorp House for the important event. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: (left to right) Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Lady Jane Fellowes and Earl Spencer, with their nephew Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex during the unveiling of a statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021 in London, England. Today would have been the 60th birthday of Princess Diana, who died in 1997. At a ceremony here today, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex respectively, will unveil a statue in her memory. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry chatting to Princess Diana's brother, Earl Spencer, and two sisters, Lady Sarah McCoquodale, and Lady Jane Fellowes. 

(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 01: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge greet their aunts Lady Sarah McCorquodale (second left) and Lady Jane Fellowes (right) during the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021 in London, England. Today would have been the 60th birthday of Princess Diana, who died in 1997. At a ceremony here today, her sons Prince William and Prince Harry, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex respectively, will unveil a statue in her memory. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Prince William embrace their aunts Lady Sarah McCorquodale (second left) and Lady Jane Fellowes (right) at Princess Diana's statue unveiling.

(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Windsor clan, on the other hand, were visibly absent from the unveiling. 

Aside from Prince Harry and Prince William, there were no Royal Family members in attendance. Prince Charles has always found tributes to his late ex-wife "terribly difficult" and therefore chose to "leave his sons at it", according to a royal insider. 

The future King of England is reportedly keeping a low profile, having fled to the Queen's Scottish holiday home, Balmoral Castle, while his youngest child is back in town. It is understood that Prince Charles has "no plans" to see Harry during his UK trip, dashing fans' hopes at a potential reunion between the estranged father and son. 

The Queen is also in Scotland at the moment, where she is undergoing a week of royal engagements at the Palace of Holyroodhouse

Emma Dooney
Emma Dooney

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.