The sculptor who made the new Diana statue has said the inclusion of three anonymous children in the piece avoided the princess appearing isolated.
Ian Rank-Broadley said the children, who are not based on real-life people, highlighted Diana’s humanitarian work.
The statue shows Diana holding the hand of a girl and resting her other hand on the shoulder of a boy with short afro-style hair while a boy stands behind the group.
The statue was unveiled in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace on Thursday, on what would have been the Princess of Wales’ 60th birthday.
Her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, put aside recent differences to be there for the ceremony.
Rank-Broadley said the two brothers were crucial to the design process and explained that the inclusion of the anonymous children was meant to demonstrate Diana’s warmth for young people.
“I think we felt if the princess stood on her own in solitary fashion she might appear isolated,” he said.
“And one of the things that came across in talking to her friends and family was she was such a friendly and gregarious person, and she had a particular warmth for children. And in many ways it alludes to her humanitarian work and shows she was a great comfort.”
Rank-Broadley, who designed the sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II that features on British coins, never met Diana, but he said he came to know her through personal stories told by the two princes.
“I was reliant on what friends and family would say,” he said.
“One gets a flavour, there might be anecdotes, reminiscences and particular views, so they contributed in that way.”
He said he came to the view that Diana was “an enormous amount of fun” who loved “playing jokes”.
“That helps you create a person, so when I’m on my own in the studio, and I’m just modelling the clay, I got a feeling I’m beginning to know somebody. And towards the end of the commission, I really felt as though I knew Diana,” he said.
On Friday, hundreds of royal fans flocked to the Sunken Garden to view the statue during public opening hours.
Some had queued for more than two hours to see the sculpture.
William and Harry, who on Thursday put aside their differences to unveil the statue, said they hoped it would be enjoyed by all.
"Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy", he said.
"Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better."