Prince Harry has set off from Frogmore Cottage for Kensington Palace to be reunited with his brother William where together they will unveil a statue of their beloved mother on her birthday after a tumultuous 18 months for their own relationship.
The siblings are marking their mother’s 60th birthday by unveiling a sculpture created in her honour by Ian Rank-Broadley and placed in the remodelled gardens of Kensington Palace packed with 4,000 of her favourite plants and flowers.
Crowds have gathered outside with Diana’s fans travelling from all over the UK to be there today.
And as if beating Germany wasn’t amazing enough, the England football team appears to have achieved the near unthinkable. For it seems the stunning 2-0 victory has helped bring about a thaw in the icy relations between Princes William and Harry, sparking a flurry of messages between them after the match.
The brothers are said to have barely spoken and have an ‘incredibly strained’ relationship after two years of rows over Harry’s wife and her alleged treatment of staff, the couple’s decision to emigrate to America and the tonnes of ‘truth bombs’ the Sussexes have dropped in TV interviews watched by tens of millions of people around the world.
Harry and Meghan believe they were abandoned by the Royal Family, even accusing them of racism towards Archie and ignoring their cries for help when the Duchess of Sussex felt lonely and suicidal while pregnant in London.
But sources close to their uncle Earl Spencer, who will also attend today’s statue unveiling, have said that there is a hope that the celebration of their mother’s life and legacy will bring them together again. The brothers are also set to have a private meeting after the ceremony. Diana’s sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes will also be there to see the unveiling of the statue – but Prince Charles and the Queen will not attend the Spencer-dominated event.
MailOnline can reveal that the Diana statue has been in situ for more than a week after being lifted into a crate during the early hours of the morning. The much-anticipated sculpture is currently boxed up and hidden away from prying eyes in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace.
Omid Scobie, the Sussexes’ preferred royal reporter, has played down the idea of a public reconciliation when they unveil the statue this afternoon.
Harry and William have been working together on the project since 2017 – but Mr Scobie has said they both vehemently believe today is about their mother – and not them. He said: ‘What we will see is two brothers being professional in a moment that is not about them. This is going to be a moment we see them put everything to one side. We will just see professionalism and nothing else’.
Prince Harry leaves Windsor Castle to be reunited with his brother William
Prince Williams drives in London this morning ahead of his reunion with his brother
Although they have barely spoken in the past 18 months, Prince Harry (pictured yesterday) and Prince William have shared celebratory messages about England’s historic victory over Germany at the Euros on Tuesday when the Three Lions knocked them out with a 2-0 win
MailOnline can reveal that the Diana statue has been in situ for more than a week after being lifted into this crate during the early hours of the morning
Mourners gather at the gates of Kensington Palace today to mark what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday
Royal fan John Loughrey poses with balloons as supporters gather to mark what would have been the 60th birthday of Princess Diana
Diana super fan Anne Daley travelled all the way from Cardiff to get to London today
A member of the public leaves a tribute to Princess Diana outside the ‘Golden Gates’ at Kensington Palace
This note left with flowers, pictures and flags remembered Diana’s special smile, face and their memories of her
Crowds began to build ahead of the unveiling at 2pm
Pedestrians look at wreaths and pictures attached to the gates of Kensington Palace to celebrate what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday – a poignant day for her sons
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and their son Prince George celebrate the first goal. The brothers are understood to have texted afterwards
Her sons Princes William and Harry have worked closely with the team at Kensington Palace to re-design the garden, filling it with glorious scented blooms loved by their adored mother
Paul Burrell says Kate Middleton will ‘play peacekeeper’ and bring William and Harry together
Paul Burrell has said that Kate Middleton will play ‘peacekeeper’ and ‘holds the key’ in bringing Princes William and Harry together today.
Princess Diana’s former butler, 62, said the pair will return to Kensington Palace and meet the Duchess of Cambridge after they reveal a statue of their mother on what would have been her 60th birthday.
He added that if the pair are unable to reconcile on this ‘poignant day’ then they ‘never will’, as he spoke to Adil Ray and Kate Garraway on ITVs Good Morning Britain from his home in Italy.
He said: ‘If this poignant day doesn’t do it, then nothing will. Because if they stand there in front of their mother’s image, just think and consider what she would have wanted.
‘They will go back into Kensington Palace after the ceremony, which will be very small and very quick.
‘Then they will meet up with Kate indoors, and I think Kate holds the key to this, I think she is the peacekeeper.
‘She’s the person that is going to pull these boys back together, there’s a lot of work to do, because a lot of things have been said. She’s the answer because she’s standing in between both of them and seeing this unfold’.
The Diana statue has been in situ for more than a week after being lifted into a crate during the early hours of the morning.
The much-anticipated sculpture is currently boxed up and hidden away from prying eyes in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace.
Staff were today busy erecting screens to stop members of the public and photographers from trying to sneak a glimpse before the official unveiling later this afternoon.
However, a Palace source said: ‘The statue has been here for more than a week. But it’s inside a crate and cannot be seen.
‘It was lifted into the crate by a crane in the early hours of the morning so that nobody was around and it could be kept secret.
‘The Sunken Garden, where the statue will be unveiled, has been re-landscaped over the last couple of years to be brought back in to line with the Pond Garden at Hampton Court, on which it’s based.
‘The Diana statue is the focal point but the work has cost Historic Royal Palaces quite a bit and it’s been a struggle to pay because of the pandemic, which closed Kensington Palace – and the other HRP sites – to the public for a number of months.’
The warring brothers have barely exchanged a word since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their acrimonious departure from the Royal Family 18 months ago.
But the Daily Mail understands they have been in contact in recent days ahead of today’s unveiling of a statue in memory of their late mother Diana. They are even said to have exchanged a few phone messages over England’s win on Tuesday.
While insiders are quick to stress that it is far from a full-scale rapprochement, it is the most positive sign yet that the estranged brothers will be able to put their differences to one side – for today, at least.
‘It is still far from good between them,’ the source explained. ‘But there has apparently been an exchange of messages, particularly about the football, which is a step in the right direction, if only to do honour to their mother.’
William, who is president of the Football Association, attended the match at Wembley with wife Kate and their football-mad eldest son George.
Royal insiders have also told the Mail that Harry, 36, has been told how much the family had been hoping to see his two-year-old son Archie again and look forward to his return to the UK soon. It is believed the Cambridges have seen Archie only once or twice since he was born.
The statue unveiling is three and a half years overdue, in large part due to the collapse in relations between the brothers.
William, 39, is known to be deeply hurt and angry at the way Harry ‘pressed the nuclear button’ not just on his relationship with the monarchy, but the family itself.
One impeccable source said they ‘highly doubted’ that the two brothers would ever regain ‘even a semblance’ of the closeness they once enjoyed.
‘Too much water has gone under the bridge for that,’ they said. ‘Harry and Meghan’s decision to burn so many bridges behind them and make such terrible allegations against their family in that infamous Oprah interview, knowing they will never be in a position to defend themselves, has taken its toll. What little trust there was has been well and truly destroyed.’
But the source acknowledged there may be some hope the brothers could eventually paper over their schism, enough at least for their children – who are cousins, after all – to develop some sort of long-distance relationship.
‘It would be a great shame if Archie and Lilibet never really got to know George, Charlotte and Louis,’ they admitted.
The redesigned Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, home to the new Diana, Princess of Wales statue, which has been filled with more than 4,000 flowers and offers a ‘calmer and more reflective setting’
Royal fan John Loughrey poses for a picture outside Kensington Palace
The world’s media has gathered, but the ceremony will be limited to one film crew and one photographer
Paintings of Diana from the Excellence in Education Charity in Lagos which Diana visited – with a picture of her with her two sons
A jogger passes the gates of Kensington Palace as he runs through the gardens towards Hyde Perk
Two mourners hug as they mark what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday
Today the brothers will be reunited for the unveiling of a statue of their beloved mother. Flowers spelling out her name have been placed at the gate with banners and pictures
England players celebrate after a Harry Kane header put the Three Lions up 2-0 in their match against Germany on Tuesday
Pictured: Prince William, who is President of the Football Association, converses with David Beckham during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Round of 16 match between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium, London, on Tuesday afternoon
Princes William and Harry with David Beckham during a reception organised by the British Football Association in 2010
Diana mourners camp outside Kensington Palace to be there on her 60th birthday
Royal well wishers at Kensington Palace, London Prince William and Harry are to unveil Diana Statute at Kensington Palace today
The statue, which was moved to the palace overnight, is three and a half years overdue, in part because of the collapse in relations between the feuding brothers William and Harry
By James Fielding
Royal super fans have been camped outside Kensington Palace since 5am this morning as the long-awaited statue in memory of Princess Diana is unveiled this morning.
Friends Sky London, 61, John Loughrey, 66, Maria Scott, 50 and her daughter Amy Thompson, 21, were sat on camping chairs draped in the Union flag.
They have spent £2,500 and ten hours festooning the gates of the palace with images of Diana, floral tributes, flags and balloons on what would have been her 60th birthday.
A statue dedicated to the princess, who died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, is being unveiled at 2pm in the Sunken Garden outside her former London residence.
It has been commissioned by her two sons Princes William and Harry, who will be reunited this afternoon at the unveiling ceremony following their well-publicised spat.
The statue, which was moved to the palace overnight, is three and a half years overdue, in part because of the collapse in relations between the feuding brothers.
William and Harry have barely spoken a word since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their split from the Royal Family 18-months ago.
But Mr Loughrey, from Streatham, South London, said: ‘I think it’s great that both brothers are putting their differences aside for their mother.
‘I think that’s really important.
‘We’ve been here since 5am and we are going to stay for the rest of the day covered in our flags watching the unveiling on our phones.
‘I think it’s going to be a wonderful day and I think that statue is going to look fantastic. I think it will be made from brass and go really well with the gardens.’
Ms Scott and her daughter had travelled down to London from their home in Newcastle at the weekend and are stopping in a hotel near Kensington Gardens.
She said: ‘We’ve probably spent the best part of 10-hours – on and off since Saturday – decorating the gate.
‘We’ve all chipped in and probably spent about £2,500 but we’re not bothered about the money, it’s for our love for the Royals.
‘I’m really pleased that Harry has flown in specially from America and will be with his brother to see the statue in honour of their mother.’
Amy added: ‘We’ve trawled around a lot of florists and charity shops looking for pictures of Diana. I hope William and Harry see what we’ve done and like it.’
Statue finally takes root in Princess Diana’s beloved sunken garden: Princes William and Harry worked with Kensington Palace team to re-design site of statue unveiling… filling it with glorious scented blooms adored by their mother
By Royal Editor For The Daily Mail
Her sons Princes William and Harry have worked closely with the team at Kensington Palace to re-design the garden, filling it with glorious scented blooms loved by their adored mother
The Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace has been redesigned in honour of Princess Diana for what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021
A haven of tranquility in bustling London, the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace was one of Princess Diana’s favourite spots for reflection.
She would often stop to chat to the head gardener as she returned from her morning jog, complimenting him on the floral displays and sharing a joke.
There is no more fitting place to unveil the only statue ever commissioned of the royal today on what would have been her 60th birthday.
And it is not only the statue, designed by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, that will provide a lasting memory of the princess, whose life was cut short in a Paris car crash almost 24 years ago.
Her sons Princes William and Harry have worked closely with the team at Kensington Palace to re-design the garden, filling it with glorious scented blooms loved by their adored mother.
Over 4,000 flowers have been planted, incorporating 50 varieties, including 100 of Diana’s favourite Forget-me-nots, 300 tulips and more than 500 lavenders.
There are more than 200 roses, 100 dahlias and 50 sweet peas. More than 400 metres of turf have been laid to complete the setting.
The layout and planting scheme was devised by garden designer Pip Morrison. It was then created by the gardens and estates team at charity Historic Royal Palaces.
Work began in October 2019 and since then five gardeners have spent 1,000 hours on planting.
The garden and statue of Diana will be free to view during palace opening hours from tomorrow, but will be roped off for the unveiling today.
Only William, Harry and a small group of Diana’s closest family will be present.
What had originally been planned as a large celebration to mark her life has now been classed as a ‘private event’ – largely due to bad blood between the brothers and Harry’s determination to control media coverage.
Prince Harry tells Ed Sheeran how fathering Lillibet and Archie is ‘definitely a juggle’ and says his daughter is ‘chilled’ while son runs ‘around like crazy’ on surprise visit to WellChild Awards before meeting brother William at Diana statue unveiling
By Jemma Carr, Paul Thompson, James Gant and Rory Tingle for MailOnline
Prince Harry told Ed Sheeran that fathering Lilibet and Archie is ‘definitely a juggle’ as he delighted sick children with a surprise visit to the WellChild Awards this afternoon.
Harry attended the event, which celebrates inspirational young people living with serious illnesses, at Kew Gardens after testing negative for coronavirus following five days of quarantine in Windsor.
The duke – who has been WellChild’s patron since 2007 – mingled with the awards’ star-studded lineup, including popstars Ed Sheeran and Anne-Marie, with the latter performing three songs for the delighted winners.
At the socially-distanced garden party and afternoon tea, Sheeran was overheard congratulating Prince Harry on the birth of his daughter Lilibet Diana earlier this month.
The singer, whose wife Cherry Seaborn gave birth to their first child Lyra Antarctica last year, said: ‘Congratulations, a girl right? We just had a little girl ten months ago now. You’re still in the trenches now. How do you manage with two?’
The Duke of Sussex replied: ‘Two is definitely a juggle.’
Speaking to award winners later, Harry described Lilibet as ‘very chilled’, saying she ‘seems happy to just sit there while Archie is running around like crazy’, Hello Magazine reports.
Today’s event was originally scheduled for September, but the organisers changed the date to allow the Duke of Sussex to attend while he’s in the UK. Harry flew to London from the US on Friday ahead of his awkward reunion with William at tomorrow’s unveiling of Diana’s statue at Kensington Palace.
Harry greeted each winner in turn after they accepted their awards on the Sir Joseph Banks Lawn.
Those seen speaking to the duke included seven-year-old Carmela Chillery-Watson, who won in the inspirational child category. Carmela – who has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy – helped raise more than £50,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK by completing a series of challenges during lockdown, in spite of the physical limitations brought about by her condition.
Harry is seen talking to Anne Marie – who performed at the awards today – and Ed Sheeran during his visit to Kew Gardens
Prince Harry said he ‘could not be prouder to be here’ as he delighted sick children with a surprise visit to the WellChild Awards at Kew Gardens this afternoon after leaving self-isolation following five days in quarantine. Pictured: Harry speaking to Rhea Talwar, who is 18 and was born with cerebral palsy. Rhea won a special recognition award for setting up her own business making greetings cards during lockdown last year – despite spending most of her time shielding
Prince Harry is seen speaking to award winner seven-year-old Carmela Chillery-Watson who has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy. Carmela completed a series of challenges during lockdown to help cure her condition and help others like her
Harry is seen speaking to the family of Harvey Eustace, aged 11, who has autism and ADHD. Struggling during lockdown, Harvey designed a memory garden for the local park, a place for those who have lost someone and potentially couldn’t go to their funeral due to restrictions in place
The Duke of Sussex spoke to outstanding professional award-winner Anna-Marie, originally from Scotland, who has supported the Park family in Oxfordshire for the past nine years, in particular looking after 12-year-old Meriel who was born with a rare congenital muscle disorder
Prince Harry is seen with Colin Dyer, CEO of WellChild, at the event in Kew Gardens today. It was held outside to ensure social distancing could be maintained
Speaking at the event, Harry said he ‘could not be prouder’ to be there, adding that now, as a father of two, he feels ‘all the more connected, inspired and in awe of the resilience of these families’. Pictured: Harry is seen speaking to William Cuthill, who won the inspirational young person award. William has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis which can cause painful joint flare ups and is a silent and ‘unseen’ disability. William has raised more than £5,000 for the Teapot Trust charity, for which he is a youth ambassador
Left to right: award winners Gracie Davis; Isaac Vials Moore; Anzah Arwani; Carmela Chillery-Watson; The Duke of Sussex; Rhea Talwar; William Cuthill; Harvey Eustace; Luke Fisher
Harry was also pictured speaking to William Cuthill, who won in the inspirational young person category. William – who has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis which can cause painful joint flare ups – has raised more than £5,000 for the Teapot Trust charity.
He also chatted to schizencephaly-sufferer Luke Fisher, 17, who has been dedicated to his school attendance despite his profound physical disabilities and health conditions. Luke also won an inspirational young person award.
The Duke of Sussex was allowed to leave self-isolation in Windsor after testing negative for coronavirus following his arrival in the UK on Friday. He flew to London for tomorrow’s unveiling of Diana’s statue at Kensington Palace.
One guest asked Harry about the statue unveiling, to which the duke replied: ‘I’m just so glad we can do it on what would have been her birthday, we weren’t sure we would be able to.’
Speaking at the event, Harry said he ‘could not be prouder’ to be there, adding that now, as a father of two, he feels ‘all the more connected, inspired and in awe of the resilience of these families’.
The Duchess of Sussex – who attended previous years’ awards with Harry prior to their emigration to the US – has remained in their California mansion with baby Lilibet and two-year-old Archie.
The event was hosted outside to allow a gathering of up to 30 people under UK Covid rules. That number can increase ‘for the purposes of work or volunteering’, official guidelines state.
Prince Harry was seen speaking to Luke Fisher, far right, who won in the inspirational young person category. Luke, 17, from South Glamorgan, has schizencephaly, a rare condition causing damage to the brain resulting in profound physical disabilities and health conditions. Luke’s condition means he is immobile and is wholly dependent on others for activities of daily living. Despite all his health problems, Luke has been hardworking and dedicated with his attendance at school
The Duke of Sussex met each winner in turn to congratulate them as they received their award at the event tonight
The event was a garden party with afternoon tea, which took place on the Sir Joseph Banks Lawn at Kew Gardens (Prince Harry at the event, pictured)
The winners (one pictured speaking to Harry) were chosen from hundreds of nominations from across the UK. The awards ‘celebrate the resilience of children living with serious illnesses or complex conditions and honour the dedication of those individuals who go the extra mile to help these children and their families’, the charity said
WellChild award winners who met Prince Harry at the 2021 awards in Kew Gardens
Carmela Chillery-Watson (Inspirational Child 7-11)
Seven-year-old Carmela Chillery-Watson has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy. People with Carmela’s condition have an average life expectancy of late teens.
Carmela completed a series of challenges during lockdown to help cure her condition and help others like her. These included a 2.6 mile marathon challenge in the garden, a London virtual WalkWithCarmela and a 30-day WonderWomanWalk, completing 300km with her mother.
She helped raise more than £50,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK.
Her mother Lucy said: ‘Carmela never complained once about her pains and discomforts. Just seeing the fundraising money increase was enough for her.’
Anzah Arwani (Inspirational Child 7-11)
Anzah, 11, from Battersea has complex neurological disorders which affect every aspect of her daily life, from walking and eating to coping with anxiety attacks.
Despite these challenges Anzah is fiercely independent. She has won awards with her frame football team and, having overcome her phobia of water, certificates for her swimming.
Anzah has constantly defied doctors’ expectations and, through hard work and determination, can now take a few independent steps.
She has caught up with her peers in her schoolwork and even overcame her anxiety disorder to address a room of 100 people.
William Cuthill (Inspirational Young Person 12-14)
William Cuthill, aged 13, from Angus has Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. His condition can cause painful joint flare ups and is a silent and ‘unseen’ disability.
In the past he has had to undergo multiple treatment regimens and often experienced unkindness at school but always remained cheerful, positive and optimistic.
William has raised more than £5,000 for the Teapot Trust charity, for which he is a youth ambassador.
A keen musician and bagpiper, he often pipes guests into the charity’s functions.
Luke Fisher (Inspirational Young Person 15-18)
Luke Fisher, 17, from South Glamorgan, has schizencephaly, a rare condition causing damage to the brain resulting in profound physical disabilities and health conditions.
Luke’s condition means he is immobile and is wholly dependent on others for activities of daily living. He has undergone many operations.
Despite all his health problems, Luke has been hardworking and dedicated with his attendance at school.
Luke’s nominator, nurse Claire Gamble, said: ‘Despite physical limitations, Luke does not allow his condition to hold him back.’
Isaac Vials Moore (Young Carer 4-11)
Isaac is 10, from Crosby in Liverpool and has only ever wanted to help care for his younger sister, Gwen, since she was born with complex medical needs.
He is unfailingly kind and proactive in supporting both Gwen and his mother Cora, who is also unwell, whilst coping with his own diagnosis of ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.
As well as helping them with many daily activities, Isaac fundraises for charities which support his sister and set up signing classes with Gwen’s teacher to make it easier for her peers communicate with her.
During lockdown Isaac helped his mother with Gwen’s online learning and adapted his own indoor exercise routine to support his sister’s physiotherapy.
The result was that Gwen, who adores her big brother, took her first steps in years.
Gracie Davis (Young Carer 12-18)
Gracie, aged 13, from Greenwich in London, provides invaluable and sometimes life-saving support to her older brother, Alfie, who has Type I diabetes.
Gracie’s caring nature and her composure and courage in an emergency, are invaluable to her mum, Sarah, who has multiple sclerosis.
Occasionally Sarah has been at hospital appointments or unwell when Alfie has suddenly become seriously ill.
Each time Gracie has taken everything in her stride and stepped in to administer the urgent treatment Alfie needs.
Rhea Talwar (Special Recognition)
Rhea, 18, from Croydon, was born with cerebral palsy and is now extremely ill, facing life-threatening health crises every day.
Rhea, who is blind, has limited movement and uncontrolled epilepsy.
Despite having to shield for most of the past year, she has recently learned to smile and set up a business making greetings cards.
She has also accomplished so much to support charities, like undertaking sponsored walks in her wheelchair.
For the past five year Rhea has been growing her hair to donate to make wigs for children who have lost their hair during cancer treatment.
Harvey Eustace (Special Recognition)
Harvey Eustace, aged 11, from the West Midlands, has autism and ADHD.
Struggling during lockdown, Harvey told his mother he wanted to do something nice for the community to help people.
He designed a memory garden for the local park, a place for those who have lost someone and potentially couldn’t go to their funeral due to restrictions in place
Harvey got permission and support and held a socially distanced fundraiser at the park.
Now Harvey’s design for the garden is becoming a reality.
Becky Bedford (Nurse Award winner)
Becky Bedford, a Clinical Nurse Specialist for Epilepsy and Neurodisability at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, has won the Best Nurse category.
Becky was nominated by two colleagues who praised her tireless work over last summer to ensure her complex needs patients who required aerosol generated procedures (AGPs) were treated equally and could return to school with their peers and not be left behind in lockdown.
She networked over social media, led meetings and lobbied for change, writing an open letter to Matt Hancock and Gavin Williamson to ask for clearer and more practical guidance around AGPs in schools.
Dulcie Scott (Volunteer Award winner)
Dulcie Scott, from Gloucestershire, has been named as Volunteer winner of the awards.
Dulcie is a costume supervisor in the world of film and TV, working on big productions such as Downton Abbey.
When productions shutdown at the start of lockdown Dulcie heard that NHS and charity workers were struggling to find scrubs so she bought some fabric out of her own purse and decided to make sets to hand out for free.
She set up a Go Fund Me page, raising over £100,000, and she and her team began making thousands of sets of scrubs and masks which were supplied for free to those in desperate need of PPE.
WellChild distributed thousands of items made by Dulcie and her team to families with seriously ill children across the UK.
Dr Chris Grime (Doctor Award winner)
Dr Chris Grime is a Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool.
He was nominated for an Award by Sarah Mogan, mother to Harry who is treated at the hospital for complex health needs.
Sarah says she cannot thank Dr Grime enough for the massive difference he has made to Harry’s life right from the start.
He has helped Harry live life to the full, making arrangements for his condition to be safely monitored at home to avoid unnecessary trips to hospital and always finding something positive in every situation.
During the pandemic his willingness to go above and beyond to support his patients was particularly appreciated by the family, as he guided them through measures for using PPE at home and advised Harry’s teachers on a safe return to school for him.
Anna-Marie McLachlan (Outstanding Professional)
Anna-Marie, originally from Scotland, has supported the Park family in Oxfordshire for the past nine years, in particular looking after 12-year-old Meriel who was born with a rare congenital muscle disorder.
Described by Meriel’s mother Camilla as a real-life Mary Poppins, Anna-Marie is so much more than a carer to Meriel.
She has shown exceptional kindness and dedication in her determination to help Meriel achieve all her dreams.
The two share a passion for sport and Anna-Marie, a black belt in karate, has found ingenious ways to tweak all sorts of sports to enable Meriel to take part.
Together they have successfully accomplished several fundraising challenges, including reaching the summit of Snowdon, and written and illustrated a book about this to raise funds for charity.
Addressing the socially-distanced audience, the Duke of Sussex said: ‘Since becoming patron of WellChild in 2007, this organisation and the people within it have held an extraordinarily special place in my heart.
‘I wasn’t a father at the time, and yet the stories of these children and parents transcended that. I didn’t need to be a dad to feel the impact of this invaluable work.
‘Now as a father of two, I feel all the more connected, inspired and in awe of the resilience of these families, who power through indescribable challenges with the support of WellChild.
‘The health of our children, of all of us, could not have been more on the forefront of our minds during the past year.
‘And, throughout this time, the WellChild community has set an example for how to show up and act with compassion for each other.
‘I could not be prouder to be here, to meet this year’s WellChild Award winners, to thank the nurses and doctors for all they do, and to celebrate these amazing families.’
Harry talked to the winners and their families following the awards ceremony. After the event, award winner Carmela took to Twitter to write: ‘Thank you so much for one of my best days ever. It was so awesome to meet so many fantastic people. I had an awesome time.’
Rhea Talwar, who is 18 and was born with cerebral palsy, won a special recognition award for setting up her own business making greetings cards during lockdown last year – despite spending most of her time shielding.
Her mother Purabi Lakhani said: ‘After everything that Rhea has been through in her childhood, it was wonderful for her to get some recognition from WellChild and what more could we ask than to meet Prince Harry? We are unbelieveably proud of her and have had a day we will cherish forever.’
The event – which was cancelled last year due to Covid – played host to several celebrities, including Amanda Holden, Ed Sheeran, dancer AJ Pritchard and singer Anne-Marie who performed today.
As she left Kew Gardens, Britain’s Got Talent judge Miss Holden said: ‘It was such a heartwarming day. I met so many lovely children who have suffered.
‘It was inspiring to hear how they have coped during lockdown. Everyone loved it when Anne-Marie performed.
‘Prince Harry was very much in the background. He let the children take centre stage and made sure it was all about the children’
Miss Holden said she had been invited as one of the children attending the event was a big fan of Britain’s Got Talent.
The winners were chosen from hundreds of nominations from across the UK. The awards ‘celebrate the resilience of children living with serious illnesses or complex conditions and honour the dedication of those individuals who go the extra mile to help these children and their families’, the charity said.
They won the categories of inspirational child and young person, young carer, inspirational nurse, inspirational doctor, outstanding health professional and volunteer.
At the last WellChild Awards in 2019, which like this year’s event was sponsored by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, Harry choked up during a speech as he spoke about becoming a father.
A source told The Sun: ‘WellChild is a charity that is very close to Harry’s heart and the organisers have moved heaven and earth to make this happen.
‘His attendance was kept a complete secret and it was an amazing moment when he surprised those in attendance.
‘Harry made sure he spent time talking to as many of the children and their families as possible – as well as care givers who were present at the ceremony.’
Harry left Frogmore Cottage in Berkshire this afternoon and was seen arriving at Kew Gardens in south-west London around an hour later. He spent two hours at the charity event before being driven back to Windsor.
WellChild Chief Executive, Colin Dyer said: ‘There are more children and young people than ever before in the UK living with long-term, serious health needs.
‘The Coronavirus outbreak has placed these children and families under more pressure than many of us can comprehend.
‘The WellChild Awards 2021, in association with GSK, will be a unique opportunity to recognise and highlight the immense challenges they have faced and to celebrate the remarkable positivity, resilience and spirit they have demonstrated.
‘It will also help us to shine a light on the dedication of those around them, from siblings, professionals and volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help them through such challenging times.’
Winners in the inspirational child category included seven-year-old Carmela who has Congenital Muscular Dystrophy.
Carmela completed a series of challenges during lockdown to help cure her condition and help others like her. These included a 2.6 mile marathon challenge in the garden, a London virtual WalkWithCarmela and a 30-day WonderWomanWalk, completing 300km with her mother.
She helped raise more than £50,000 for Muscular Dystrophy UK.
One of the winners in the young carer category was 13-year-old Gracie Davis, who provides invaluable and sometimes life-saving support to her older brother, Alfie, who has Type I diabetes.
The charity said Gracie’s ‘caring nature and her composure and courage in an emergency’ have been invaluable to her mother Sarah, who has multiple sclerosis and has been at hospital appointments or unwell when Alfie has suddenly become seriously ill.
‘Each time Gracie has taken everything in her stride and stepped in to administer the urgent treatment Alfie needs,’ WellChild said.
Sources claim Harry will hold a ‘private meeting’ with Prince William after tomorrow’s unveiling as reports continue of a simmering rift between the brothers.
Meanwhile it was reported the Duke of Cambridge will visit the statue with Kate Middleton and their children for a private moment ahead of its official unveiling, maybe as early as today.
After taking the stage at the last awards in 2019, which was streamed live on the charity’s Facebook page, Harry spoke about how he knew at the previous year’s event that his wife Meghan was pregnant.
As he talked about it he choked back tears and had to stop his speech, with host Gaby Roslin stepping in to pat him on the back, before the crowd cheered at him.
Tomorrow Harry will join his brother Prince William, 39, for the official ceremony to mark what would have been their mother’s 60th birthday.
The brothers have been separated by a rift that began in March 2019 when William threw Harry and Meghan out of Kensington Palace over the alleged bullying of staff, according to royal historian Robert Lacey.
Sources said they will hold a private meeting after the tribute – dubbed an ‘informal’ and ‘beautiful’ memorial – is unveiled, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Harry arrived in the UK on Friday and was staying at Frogmore Cottage where he has self isolated for five days.
Thursday’s statue ceremony in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace – where Diana lived, and which is now home to William and his family – will be a small event.
William and Harry, Diana’s close family and the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley are among the few attending.
The brothers – who last met in person at Prince Philip’s funeral – are understood to have spent ‘weeks’ working out where to place the statue in the palace.
No details of the statue have been revealed ahead of time, but it is understood to show Diana’s youthful and playful character.
Mr Lacey yesterday claimed Harry is ready to admit he’s made mistakes out of ‘sheer temper’ since quitting as a frontline royal but Meghan is ‘sticking to her guns’ and William believes he’s done nothing wrong.
Claims of a rift between the brothers – which ended with the Sussexes breaking up their joint foundation and setting up a new office at Buckingham Palace – emerged in the historian’s book Battle of Brothers.
It was published before Harry and Meghan went on Oprah to accuse the Royal Family of racism and claim they were abandoned when the Duchess of Sussex was suicidal and six months pregnant.
Speaking to Newsweek Mr Lacey said he believes Harry is the only one who may be ready to admit mistakes and contrition for his behaviour over the past two years.
But he claims it may not be reciprocated because William and Kate may feel ‘vindicated’ in having doubts about Harry’s relationship.
He said: ‘On one side we’ve got William who doesn’t seem prepared to concede anything and on the other side friends have told me that Harry wouldn’t mind reconciling and then it’s Meghan who is sticking to her guns on this issue.
‘It should surely be possible for both sides to say the past is in the past. It’s very regrettable that Meghan doesn’t withdraw just a little.
Sheeran, who spoke to Harry at the awards today, was seated behind Prince William at the England v Germany match yesterday
Harry looked pensive as he returned to the UK for the first time since his grandfather Philip’s funeral in April and was pictured arriving at Kew Gardens in a chauffeur-driven Range Rover
The prince was pictured for the first time back in Britain for the unveiling of a statue in his mother’s memory as he was driven from Frogmore Cottage, the home he shared with Meghan before they emigrated
Prince Harry was a surprise guest at the WellChild Awards at the famous botanic gardens in south-west London this afternoon (pictured driving to the event)
Prince Harry spent two hours at the charity event before being driven back to Frogmore Cottage (pictured)
Prince Harry looked ahead as he was driven out of the event. Sources claim he will hold a ‘private meeting’ with Prince William after tomorrow’s unveiling as reports continue of a simmering rift between the brothers
Prince Harry went on his phone as he was driven out of the event in Kew Gardens today. He will attend the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue tomorrow
In 2019, Harry choked up during a speech at the WellChild awards ceremony as he spoke about becoming a father and was comforted by Gabby Logan
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the last WellChild Awards ceremony. The event is sponsored by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline
Harry is expected to put aside his differences with brother William to attend the unveiling ceremony at the palace together
The brothers – who last met in person at Prince Philip’s funeral – are understood to have spent ‘weeks’ working out where to place the statue (pictured before its unveiling) in the palace
Harry arrived in the UK on Friday and was staying at Frogmore Cottage (pictured) where he has self isolated for five days
‘Why can’t she say it was the pressure? ‘I was getting used to this incredibly complicated system, I was just pregnant, I couldn’t sleep’… ‘Perhaps in retrospect I went over the top about it’.’
Mr Lacey spoke out as it was claimed William and Harry will not heal their rift this week while the Duke is ‘so under the thumb’ of his wife.
He told Newsweek: ‘Harry is prepared to acknowledge the role that just sheer temper played at unfortunate moments—notably in the so-called blindsiding early in 2020. He actually is prepared to admit, in a way that William doesn’t seem to be.’
But Mr Lacey said he believes there is a way of ‘moving forward’, adding: ‘It’s not as if Meghan’s employing any royal staff anymore, she’s living in a different country.
‘It’s not a live issue so it would be good, it seems to me, if she could find a way of putting it to bed.’
According to biographer Hugo Vickers, any attempts of a reunion in London could result in Prince Harry having to answer for it when he returns to his wife in LA.
‘I don’t know what they can do under the present circumstances,’ he said, speaking to The Express about the possibility of the pair mending their relationship.
‘Harry has got to wake up to what’s going on. It’s a very unpleasant situation and I don’t think it’s going to be the right moment this week.
‘Harry is so under the thumb of Meghan it is not really possible until he emerges from that.’
The Royal biographer, who does not think Charles will intervene, said the brothers could speak via videolink or phone but claimed neither Harry or Meghan wanted to.
‘He has thrown in his lot with his wife,’ said Hugo. ‘That’s it, isn’t it? Slagging off his family didn’t help anybody. It’s a dreadful situation.’
He continued: ‘You’ve got to remember that Harry has to return to his wife in Los Angeles. If he starts reconciling, he will get his head bitten off, won’t he?’
The royal expert also went on to say how the tension between the brothers is likely to steal the limelight from the poignant event on Thursday – adding ‘everyone will be focusing on’ the two boys being together.
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, and the Duke of Sussex , 36, will stand shoulder to shoulder on Thursday for the unveiling of Diana’s statue to mark what would’ve been her 60th birthday. Pictured: The Princes with their mother in 1992
WellChild congratulated the Sussexes’ after the birth of their new daughter, Lilibet. The tweet read: ‘Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the birth of Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor
Prince Harry and Prince William (together in 2020) will have a ‘private meeting’ after the statue of their late mother Princess Diana is unveiled as reports of a rift between the brothers rages on, sources claim
Pictured, Princess Diana with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry during a holiday with the Spanish royal family at the Marivent Palace in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, August 1987
Prince Harry is said to want to take steps to heal his rift with his brother and his wife but William and Meghan are not willing to budge, a royal biographer claims
During the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview (pictured), Prince Harry referred to his relationship with William amid reports the brothers had fallen out in the wake of Megxit
It will mark the first time Harry has both travelled to Britain and spent time with his brother since the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral at Windsor Castle on April 17.
Meghan has remained at their £11million mansion in Montecito with two-year-old Archie and their second child, Lilibet Diana, who was born 21 days ago.
The reunion comes in the aftermath of Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive two-hour CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey which aired in March.
WellChild: Prince Harry’s beloved patronage that kept him on after Megxit
WellChild is the national charity for seriously ill children and their families. Over 100,000 children and young people are living with serious and complex health conditions.
Many require round-the-clock support and can spend months, if not years, in hospital because there isn’t the support to get them home.
Through a nationwide network of WellChild Children’s Nurses, home makeover projects and family support programmes, WellChild works to give this growing population of children and young people the best chance to thrive – properly supported at home, together with their families.
WellChild was one of the four charities chosen by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex to benefit from donations made by the public on the occasion of the birth of their son, Archie Mountbatten Windsor.
Harry remained a patron of WellChild after he lost a large number of his public patronages following Megxit.
There he made reference to his relation with William amid reports the brothers had fallen out in the wake of Megxit.
Prince Harry told the talk show host: ‘As I’ve said before, I love William to bits. He’s my brother.
‘We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths.
It came as the Duke of Sussex made his first official appearance since landing in the UK last week in a surprise speech at the virtual Diana Award ceremony.
The Duke of Sussex delivered a speech at the award ceremony in a pre-recorded video which appears to have been filmed at his home in California.
The Diana Award is a charity set up to reflect the Princess of Wales’ belief young people have the power to change the world.
The charity runs anti-bullying and mentoring programmes and recognises young people’s inspirational work.
In a pre-recorded video, the Duke said: ‘I’d like to start by acknowledging and celebrating the incredible young people joining us today.
‘And wherever you are right now, I want to thank you for being part of this important moment and for being such a valuable asset to your community.
‘I’m truly honoured to be celebrating your work, your commitment to change making and the vital role that you’ve taken on representing a new generation of humanitarianism.’
He continued: ‘Later this week, my brother and I are recognising what would have been our mum’s 60th birthday, and she would be so proud of you all for living authentic life with purpose and with compassion for others.
‘Our mum believed that young people have the power to change the world. She believed in your strength because she saw it day in and day out and in the faces of young people exactly like you, she witnessed a boundless enthusiasm and passion.
‘And to see those same values shine through as it has done for 21 years now, The Diana Award carries her legacy forward by putting young people at the centre of our future. And this has never been more important.’
The Duchess of Sussex has stayed in the US with Archie and Lilibet.
Harry added: ‘And Meg and I fundamentally believe that our world is at the cusp of change, real change for the good of all. But the question before us is what that change will look like.
‘The Covid-19 crisis exposed severe inequities and imbalances around the world. We saw the disproportionate effect of this pandemic on communities of colour, on women, on underserved communities and on less wealthy countries.
‘We’ve seen and unless we take swift action, we will continue to see a disparity in our humanitarian and moral obligation to vaccinate the world.
‘There is great need for young leadership and there is no greater time to be a young leader. I believe in you. We believe in you.
And that belief in your own ability to change the world in doing the right thing is what makes you a force to be reckoned with.’
He added: ‘To all the 2021 Diana Award recipients thank you for inspiring us with your brilliance, your determination and your compassion, your actions hold the potential to leave a life changing impact. You are putting the ‘do’s’ behind the ‘say’s’, and this is the personification of our mother’s legacy.
‘To everyone else watching. I’m hopeful that today’s Award recipients have inspired you to be part of a future where humanity is cherished, where our communities are supported and uplifted, and where we are considerate and compassionate to each other, both online and off.
‘Never be afraid to do what’s right. Stand up for what you believe in and trust that when you live by truth and in service to others, people will see that just as they did with my mum.’
For most of their lives, the royal brothers have been close, united by the shared trauma of losing their mother who died aged 36 in a 1997 Paris car crash when William was 15 and Harry 12.
While Harry travelled to the UK on Friday, Meghan has stayed in the US with their two children. Pictured: Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attend Commonwealth Day Service 2020
Prince William and Prince Harry have historically been close throughout their lives but tensions grew after Harry married American actress Meghan Markle before moving to live in the US and making bombshell claims in the Oprah interview
Relations between the two brothers (pictured in 1995 with their mother Diana) after Harry criticised his father Charles and said William and the family were trapped which Harry and Meghan also accused one unnamed royal of making a racist remark
But since Harry’s 2018 wedding to his American actress wife, relations between them have soured and an explosive interview that the couple gave chat show host Oprah Winfrey in March marked a new low.
In it, Harry, now 36, criticised his father Charles and said William, 39, and the family were trapped, while the couple accused one unnamed royal of making a racist remark.
Biographer Mr Lacey said in April the brothers quarrelled in the immediate aftermath of the funeral of Prince Philip, their grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s husband of more than 70 years, and there was no sign of any improvement.
‘The conflict between Diana’s two bitterly divided sons does not seem likely to end any time soon,’ he wrote in the Daily Mail, adding that friends and family were trying to forge a reconciliation.
This week’s unveiling in London of the statue, which the princes commissioned four years ago to celebrate Diana’s life, provides a rare opportunity for such a rapprochement, with Harry returning from his new home in the United States.
‘Unless one of them is going to say sorry, and I think that probably has to be Harry, I can’t see this relationship at the moment mending itself,’ royal commentator Penny Junor said.
‘My understanding is the boys are not speaking to one another, certainly not in the way brothers normally speak,’ she said.
Harry told Winfrey their relationship was ‘space at the moment’, but hoped time would heal it.
‘I love William to bits, he’s my brother, we’ve been through hell together and we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths,’ he said.
The Daily Telegraph reported that William would take his wife Kate and their three children George, Charlotte and Louis, for a private viewing of the statue before its official unveiling as they will not be present on the day.
The Diana Award recognised dozens of recipients who have achieved remarkable change and carried out inspirational work in the past year.
Among the winners were Mashal Aamir, from the University of Glasgow, who works to equip women living by the Pakistan-Afghanistan border with economic skills to increase their independence.
She continues to empower marginalised voices through her writing and collaborations, while training to be a barrister.
George Barker, 25, from the Wirral, has been recognised because he has volunteered with Sexpression:UK for the last seven years, working to improve sex education in secondary schools.
He has facilitated fun and interactive sessions in schools to over 300 young people, trained over 100 volunteers to deliver these classes and is empowering young people to make educated, safer choices about relationships and sex.
Tessy Ojo, Chief Executive of The Diana Award, said: ‘We warmly congratulate our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and across the world who are changemakers for their generation.
‘It is especially poignant as we mark what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday. In a year that has seen young people’s lives disrupted by the Pandemic it is even more important that we honour, celebrate but also invest in young people, from across the world, who through their selfless trailblazing efforts have changed lives in their communities.
‘We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens.’