On July 1, what would’ve been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday, Diana’s sons Prince William and Prince Harry will reunite for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned in the late Princess of Wales’ honor at Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden. Harry traveled from his and Meghan Markle’s Montecito, CA home for the occasion. It is the second time the Duke of Sussex has been back in the U.K. for a royal family event since he and Meghan stepped back permanently from their senior royal family roles last year.
Will Harry and William be joined by their wives? An appearance from William’s wife Kate Middleton at first seemed likely, but Kensington Palace later suggested Kate may not be there after all. Meghan flying to England just weeks after giving birth to her and Harry’s second child, daughter Lilibet Diana, unsurprisingly didn’t happen. Harry traveled to England without Meghan on June 25 for the unveiling.
Here’s what has come out so far about the duchesses’ plans.
Meghan Markle will not join Harry and William in England.
ELLE.com has learned that Meghan will not attend the unveiling and will remain in California. Multiple outlets additionally reported that the Duchess of Sussex will not make the 10-plus-hour flight to London just weeks after delivering baby Lili on June 4, 2021.
“Meghan has just had a baby and has no plans to travel to London for the memorial event planned for the statue unveiling,” a source told Entertainment Tonight.
Kate Middleton was at first reported to be attending the unveiling, but Kensington Palace later announced guests, and Kate wasn’t among them.
With Kate and William’s official residence at Kensington Palace’s Apartment 1A, the Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t have a long way to travel for the memorial event, which will take place on the palace grounds, in its Sunken Garden.
Initially, The Mirror reported that Kate was going. A royal source told the outlet, “The Duchess has seen this project evolve from its conception and now to the finished article and undoubtedly wants to be there to support her husband. No doubt there will be tensions between the Cambridges and Harry, but they all recognize that despite the obvious and deep rooted issues between them, they want the day to be solely about the Princess of Wales’s enduring legacy.”
Harry, Kate, and William previously reunited at Prince Philip’s funeral, another family-focused event. A source close to Harry told Harper’s Bazaar after the trip that family peace was not achieved during the visit. The issues Meghan and Harry brought up during their Oprah interview regarding the royal family and firm’s treatment of them remain unresolved.
“This trip was to honor the life of his grandfather and support his grandmother and relatives,” the source said at the time. “It was very much a family-focused period of time. Saturday broke the ice for future conversations but outstanding issues have not been addressed at any great length. The family simply put their issues to one side to focus on what mattered.”
Over the weekend before the Diana statue unveiling, Kensington Palace shared the guest list for the ceremony, and Kate wasn’t on it.
The Daily Mail reported that it was told by the Palace that “the princes will now be joined only by Diana’s close family, the statue committee, the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley and garden designer Pip Morrison” due to COVID-19 restrictions. The U.K. had originally planned to lift its last lockdown restrictions on June 21 (before the July 1 unveiling) but delayed that date to July 19 due to the Delta variant of COVID spreading in the country. There’s still a possibility Kate will attend the memorial event as a surprise bonus guest, but no official word has suggested she will be there.
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