Like Diana’s life, this will be a moment of intense scrutiny.
Had she lived to celebrate the milestone birthday, her family would have gathered around a cake, not a statue. A party would have seen grandchildren running across a dance floor and the guest of honour ablaze with pride at her rebuilt life and her boys.
I’m crystal-balling, but she would perhaps have thought about how her generation of Windsors plumbed bizarre lows – Royal It’s A Knockout, poolside romps with financial advisers, a string of dalliances with riding instructors and a car salesman, the heir to the throne wanting to be a tampon – and that her own children looked like they would have a happier outcome, thanks to their close bond and shared experiences.
No such luck. In the time since the statue was commissioned, the royal landscape has changed almost beyond recognition. The ongoing toxicity between William and Harry means that their relationship, not their mother, will be the focal point on Thursday.
Details of the unveiling are still so closely held it’s not even known if Kate will attend. William will want her by his side, but it’s been suggested she’ll bow out given Harry’s own wife won’t be there. The royals won’t want to give the Californian entrepreneurs any more grievances to air, including accusations of favouritism.
My money is on Meghan heaving a quiet sigh of relief at the timing. Giving birth to her controversially named daughter Lilibet Diana on June 4 means she can…