Diana's Statue by Ian Rank-Broadley

Diana’s Statue by Ian Rank-Broadley – The Diana Memorial Statue

Where is the Diana memorial? Diana’s statue by Ian Rank-Broadley can be found in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden. The Statue of Diana Princess of Wales was commissioned by the princess’s sons Harry and William. The Diana memorial statue was sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley and unveiled on the 1st of July 2021.



Diana’s Statue by Ian Rank-Broadley

SculptorIan Rank-Broadley (1952 – Present)
Date of Completion2021
Princess Diana Statue LocationKensington Palace, England

To memorialize the 20th anniversary of Diana’s death, her sons authorized the production of a bronze sculpture of their mother for Kensington Palace in 2017. In an official statement, the princes stated that their mother had affected so many people and hoped the monument wouldd allow all those who visited Kensington Palace to contemplate her lifetime and achievements.

The funds raised were donated by the public, as well as a committee comprised of advisers and close friends.


Design of the Diana Memorial Statue

The princes revealed the memorial on what should have been the princess’s 60th birthday, and it depicts her encircled by three children who symbolize the universal applicability and cultural impact of her career. It is situated in the center of one side of the Sunken Garden, recently revamped by Pip Morrison. Work on revamping the garden started in 2019; five landscapers planted more than 4,000 flowers, including noisette roses, China pink tulips, lavender, dahlias, sweet peas, and her favorites – forget-me-nots.

The actual statue received very mixed reviews from those who viewed it. One critic stated that the “Statue of Diana Princess of Wales” in his eyes was aesthetically awful and flat.

He went on to say that the Diana memorial statue was flat and exuded a cautious realism that was tempered by an ineffective attempt to make the characterless and soulless piece of “nonsense” seem more intimate. Others were not so scathing in their reviews though, with one calling the memorial beautiful and saying that it captured Diana’s kind spirit.

The sculptor of Diana’s memorial statue, Ian Rank-Broadley is a British artist who has created a number of notable works, including numerous designs for British coinage.

Ian Rank-Broadley received his formal education at the Epsom School of Art as well as the Slade School of Fine Art. He then went on to study at the British School in Rome. When he returned to the U.K. He started his artistic career as a professional sculptor who specialized in low-relief sculpture. He has worked alongside sculptors Ralph Brown RA and Reg Butler.


The Official Unveiling Ceremony of the Statue of Diana, Princess of Wales

It has been a rather rough period for the royal family lately. Not only were there plenty of scandals regarding everyone from Prince Andrew to Prince Harry and his new wife but both the king and queen have passed away in the last few years. Then, of course, there is the Diana saga, which was all over the news just before her tragic death in a car accident when she was followed by paparazzi. So perhaps this moment between all of the chaos was a much-needed break from the usually tumultuous lives of the royals.

Although the brothers first put forward the idea of the statue back in 2017, much has happened in both their lives, which caused a big rift in the family.

With Harry and his wife recently leaving their official positions within the family, the situation only worsened. Indeed, the tell-all interview that the ex-royals had with television star Oprah Winfrey surely did not ease tensions between the two either. The brothers reunited for their grandfather’s funeral last year, and this was the first big public meeting of the brothers in a while.

Diana Memorial Statue Statue of Diana, Princess of Wales by Ian Rank-Broadley in 2021; Sahaib3005, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Inevitably, such an occasion would once again put focus on the siblings, yet they were determined to not let their differences get in the way of such an important moment. The brothers have tried to keep things drama-free when it comes to approving ideas for Diana’s monument. The princess’ name appears underneath the statue, and in front of it is a stone with a quote from the poem “The Measure of a Man”, which was displayed in a memorial service for Diana in 2007. Harry’s wife had just had a baby and therefore decided not to attend the occasion so that she could be with her son.

Originally, William’s wife Kate was going to be in attendance as she had been a part of the process from the start and wanted to be there to support her husband.

She had stated that despite any tensions between themselves and Harry, they fully intended to make the event about Diana’s legacy and put aside their difference for the day. However, it turned out that only a few close family members and the committee who planned the statue were the only ones in attendance. The sculptor and the landscaper were also in attendance, but numbers were kept small due to the Corona epidemic restrictions that were in place in England at the time of the unveiling.

Statue of Diana Princess of Wales The Sunken Garden in Kensington Palace in 2019, where the statue stands; AndyScott, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A source close to the family later said that Kate and the rest of the royals planned on visiting the memorial on their own, which they regarded as more important than attending for the sake of the cameras. The prince’s father, Charles, did not attend either, which is not surprising considering the circumstances between the current king and his ex-wife. However, at the time, Charles simply stated that he had already made plans to travel to Scotland and therefore would not be able to attend.


No matter what your opinion about the royal family might be, almost everyone agrees that Princess Diana was a rare soul who used her royal position to improve the lives of others. Many people believe that she was chosen to make the royal family seem more down-to-earth, and representative of the people, and as such, maybe she didn’t really ever fit into their world. Yet, due to the love of her children and followers, we now have a constant reminder of her life and achievements.




Frequently Asked Questions


Where Is the Diana Memorial?

Diana’s statue by Ian Rank-Broadley can be found in the gardens of Kensington Palace. The Princess Diana statue location was chosen because it was her favorite place. It was commissioned in 2017 by her devoted sons and a committee and was finally unveiled in 2021. There were not many royals in attendance due to the Covid restrictions that were in place at the time. The children surrounding her in the sculpture are said to be symbolic of those whose lives she had touched and changed for the better during her time as the Princess of Wales. Although she might not be a favorite of the royal family, she was most definitely the princess of the people who loved and admired her.


Who Sculpted the Statue of Diana Princess of Wales (2021)?

The Diana memorial statue was sculpted by the well-known artist from Britain, Ian Rank-Broadley. He is a respected artist who is also known for his work designing British coins. The sculptor received his formal education at the Slade School of Fine Art after he attended the Epsom School of Art. After that, he went to study further at the British School, which is situated in Rome.


Cite this Article

Isabella, Meyer, “Diana’s Statue by Ian Rank-Broadley – The Diana Memorial Statue.” Art in Context. December 17, 2022. URL: https://artincontext.org/dianas-statue-by-ian-rank-broadley/

Meyer, I. (2022, 17 December). Diana’s Statue by Ian Rank-Broadley – The Diana Memorial Statue. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/dianas-statue-by-ian-rank-broadley/

Meyer, Isabella. “Diana’s Statue by Ian Rank-Broadley – The Diana Memorial Statue.” Art in Context, December 17, 2022. https://artincontext.org/dianas-statue-by-ian-rank-broadley/.

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