Diana statue plans revealed as William and Harry express thanks for 'kind words'

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A statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, will be created by a sculptor whose portrait of the Queen appears on UK coins, Kensington Palace has announced.

The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry revealed in January that they had commissioned the statue of their mother, 20 years on from her death.

They have selected renowned artist Ian Rank-Broadley to carry out the work, expected to be unveiled in the grounds of Kensington Palace in 2019.

Kensington Palace has been chosen for the statue (Nick Ansell/PA)
Kensington Palace has been chosen for the statue (Nick Ansell/PA)

Newly engaged Harry and expectant father William also expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support they received in the months surrounding this year's poignant milestone.

Diana suffered fatal injuries when the car in which she was travelling crashed as it passed through a Parisian tunnel on August 31 1997. She was 36.

The royals said in a joint statement: "We have been touched by the kind words and memories so many people have shared about our mother over these past few months.

"It is clear the significance of her work is still felt by many in the UK and across the world, even 20 years after her death.

"Ian is an extremely gifted sculptor and we know that he will create a fitting and lasting tribute to our mother.

"We look forward to unveiling the statue, which will allow all those who visit Kensington Palace to remember and celebrate her life and legacy."

My effigy of HM Queen on all UK & Commonwealth coinage since 1998 #IRB @BritishMonarchy #Queenat90#QueensBirthdaypic.twitter.com/4Pd0jNc6WB

-- Ian Rank-Broadley (@RankBroadley) April 20, 2016

Mr Rank-Broadley's most recognised work is his effigy of the monarch, which has been on all coins in the UK and Commonwealth since 1998.

More recently, his bronze work depicting the harrowing realities of war became the focal point of the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire, when it opened in 2007.