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Kensington Palace has implied that Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, won't be attending the Diana statue unveiling on Thursday, quashing hopes of her acting the role as peacemaker.

The duchess is believed to not be attending the event on July 1 alongside her husband Prince William, who will reveal the statue with brother Harry who has returned to the UK.

Invitations had already been drastically scaled back in recent days, cutting the guest list down from 100 to adhere to Covid rules.

The palace said last night the princess will be joined by Diana's close family, sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley commissioned to design the piece, the statue committee and garden designer Pip Morrison.

There was no mention of the duchess or other members of the royal family on the list.

Kate's expected absence will be a blow for those who hoped she may take up the role as peacemaker between the brothers and their reported rift.

The ceremony is taking place in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace believed to Diana's favourite place and will be a moving occasion.

The statue will be unveiled on what would have been Princess Diana's 60th birthday.

  • Prince Harry lands in UK ahead of facing William – but he must isolate first

The prices will be together again for the first time since their reunion at Prince Philip's funeral back in April, before which they had not seen each other in person for a year.

Prince Harry moved to the US with wife Megham Markle and son Archie in March 2020, after stepping back as senior members of the royal family, also known as Megxit.

The couple now have a baby daughter together, Lilibet Diana, and it's believed Meghan is staying back in California with the children while Harry attends the event.

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It was hoped the event could be part of the process of healing the rift of the estranged royal siblings.

Although behind, behind-the-scenes, it's said there was a reported clash over media coverage of the event – as the ceremony is covered globally.

There could still be an opportunity for the brothers to make a start in repairing their relationship, but fans believe Kate's role as peacemaker – as seen when she walked alongside Harry and William following the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral service earlier this year – would have helped.

Relations have grown tense in recent months, especially following Harry and Meghan's bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview in March, where the Duke of Sussex said there was 'space' between him and William.

Harry touched down in the UK and believed to have started five days of self-isolation, according to Covid rules, at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor, his former home with the Duchess of Sussex before the big move across the Atlantic.

It's reported he flew to Heathrow from LA on an American Airlines flight.

  • Prince Harry
  • Prince William
  • Princess Diana
  • Royal Family
  • Kate Middleton Duchess Of Cambridge

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