- Kate Middleton reportedly won’t attend Princess Diana’s statue unveiling on Thursday.
- The royals don’t want rumors of a family rift to overshadow the event, a source told Page Six.
- Prince William reportedly plans to take Middleton and their children to see the statue privately.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Prince William and Prince Harry will unveil a statue in honor of Princess Diana on Thursday, but they reportedly won’t be joined by their wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle.
The brothers are marking their mother’s 60th birthday with the small ceremony at Kensington Palace, which was Diana’s royal residence.
The palace has remained vague about the guest list, writing in a press release obtained by Insider that William and Harry would be joined by Diana’s “close family.”
Markle is said to be remaining in Santa Barbara, California, to look after her newborn daughter, Lilibet Diana. Prince Charles also reportedly won’t attend because he has a trip to Scotland planned.
The Duchess of Cambridge is the latest royal who reportedly won’t attend.
“It was always going to be the two brothers,” an anonymous royal source told Harper’s Bazaar of the duchess’ absence.
William plans to take Middleton and their children to see the statue privately before the unveiling, a royal source told the publication.
Family sources told Page Six that Middleton’s absence was an attempt to reduce reports of family “drama.”
William doesn’t want rumors of a rift between the Sussexes and the Cambridges to overshadow the event, a source told Page Six.
“I think keeping the numbers down is a perfect ‘excuse’ for Catherine to stay away. William is fed up with the drama and Catherine doesn’t need to be dragged into this,” the source said.
“They are planning a private family visit with their children, and that private moment is far more important than the public rhetoric,” the source added.
They said that “William is determined that the Sussex drama does not overshadow this important moment of remembrance to his much-missed mother and is keeping that as his focus.”
William and Harry commissioned the statue in 2017. They announced that Ian Rank-Broadley, known for his design of the Queen on British coins, would design it.
“We have been touched by the kind words and memories so many people have shared about our mother over these past few months. It is clear the significance of her work is still felt by many in the UK and across the world, even twenty years after her death,” the brothers said in a statement in 2017.
They added: “Ian is an extremely gifted sculptor and we know that he will create a fitting and lasting tribute to our mother. We look forward to unveiling the statue, which will allow all those who visit Kensington Palace to remember and celebrate her life and legacy.”
Kensington Palace declined to comment when contacted by Insider.