Princes William and Harry will meet in private following the unveiling of a statue in memory of their mother in a sign of reconciliation between the royal brothers.

They will gather with immediate family after Thursday’s low-key event in Kensington Palace Gardens, when the “beautiful” and “informal” memorial to Diana, Princess of Wales will finally be revealed.

The Telegraph understands that the statue, designed by sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, whose representation of the Queen has appeared on all Commonwealth coins since 1998, will reflect the late princess’s youthful and playful nature.

“It is not in any way austere or imperious,” said a source close to the project. “Both brothers wanted to ensure that the artwork is something that really resonates with the public.

“It’s absolutely charming and such a fitting tribute.”

Royal watchers and art critics alike remain curious as to how Mr Rank-Broadley will capture the spirit of the 20th century icon, who was the most photographed woman in the world.

The design has been kept a closely guarded secret, and the statue has remained covered in the palace’s Sunken Garden since its installation last week.

Several sources have hinted that it depicts a “youthful” Diana. The princess was just 36 when she died in a Paris car crash on August 31, 1997.

The statue unveiling, which is also expected to be attended by her brother Earl Spencer and sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, marks what would have been the princess’s 60th birthday.

A palace insider confirmed that William and Harry had spent months collaborating on the design – down to the very last detail, including advising the sculptor on how her nose should look.

They apparently spent “weeks” deciding where exactly it should be located in the grounds of the royal residence in west London which will always be synonymous with the princess.

Garden designer, Pip Morrison, will also be present at the ceremony, which has been scaled down due to Covid and will not involve any speeches.

On Friday, Kensington Palace confirmed the “small event” would include “close family of Diana, Princess of Wales, and members of the statue committee”. The brothers’ former private secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton is expected to attend along with Julia Samuel, one of Diana’s closest friends.

On Monday, Harry, 36, who arrived in the UK on Friday and has been self-isolating prior to the engagement, paid tribute to his mother for "living by truth and service to others".

The Duke’s comments were the first he had made in public about the statue unveiling and came amid reports of tensions between him and William, 39, following the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes departure to the US and subsequent tell-all interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey.

A well-placed source said both men would be "putting on a brave face for the event like they did at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral".

“They both know it is not about them but remembering the late princess,” they added. 

Although she is not attending the unveiling, the Duchess of Cambridge, 39, is set to play the role of peacemaker behind the scenes.

Meghan, 39, will not be flying over because she only gave birth to their second child, Lilibet, less than a month ago and will remain at the family home in Montecito, Santa Barbara with their two-year-old son, Archie.