Prince William & Kate hosted the ‘private’ reception for the fakakta Diana statue

Two weekends ago, the British papers tried to push a story about how the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would make a “surprise” trip to the UK, just so that they could attend a Kensington Palace reception designed to thank everyone involved in the fakakta statue of Diana, which was placed in the Sunken Garden on the grounds of Kensington Palace. The idea behind the “surprise visit” story was that of course Harry would want to be there because it involved his mother, and because the royal rota continues to push the idea that it’s up to Harry and Meghan to reach out and make amends with the family. In any case, the Sussexes’ rep shut down the story. Last night at KP, the reception took place with William and Kate acting as hosts:

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have held a reception at Kensington Palace to mark the unveiling of the Diana Princess of Wales statue. William and Kate gathered in the sunken garden of their London home, where the bronze tribute to the late princess is located.

But the Duke of Sussex, who lives in California after quitting as a senior working royal, did not fly back to attend Tuesday’s event. He is understood to have been in touch privately with donors who supported the statue.

The private event on Tuesday afternoon was a chance for the Cambridges to thank those who backed the project and to gather in memory of the princess. The guest list is thought to have included Diana’s close friends, former staff and relatives.

[From The Evening Standard]

So Kate was finally included in something involving the fakakta statue. She threw a huge tantrum about the unveiling back in June, when William told her that she could not come. I swear, there was desperation-sweat pouring off the Middletons for about three solid weeks. I bet Kate is mad that Tuesday night’s event was “private” and she couldn’t pose exactly like the Diana statue with her three children. Cosplay Kate strikes again!

As for Harry’s absence… he told y’all that he wasn’t going. But please allow Duncan Larcombe to say many words about Harry’s absence and how it will further deepen the brothers’ rift:

“I think it’s very sad that Harry didn’t go and I think he [would have been] sorely missed,” royal expert Duncan Larcombe, author of Prince Harry: The Inside Story told OK! “Obviously he lives a long way away now and we’ve still got travel restrictions but it’s entirely possible for him to fly back to the UK, as he showed in July for the unveiling of the statue. Both of Diana’s sons should be there. Unfortunately, it’s just further confirmation – not that another is needed – that things are not great between the brothers. If their mother’s legacy can’t bring them together then you do wonder what on earth can.”

Duncan believes William will ‘do the decent thing’ and refer to Harry when he thanks donors at the party.

“It’ll be interesting to see if William makes any reference to Harry and I would expect he will [have done],” he continues. “He [will have] thanked people for being there on behalf of him and his brother. We’ll have to wait until we know what William [has said] before we can draw conclusions about whether the rift has deepened.”

“William can’t just hop on a plane to see Harry easily, although of course he could, but they live thousands of miles apart and you do wonder when they will find common ground in the future. I’m told that at the moment there’s a ‘wait and see what’s in Harry’s book’ attitude among the royal family. But the reality is that Diana’s memorial party is another opportunity missed for the two brothers to get together.”

[From The Daily Mirror]

I know the Sussex Squaders don’t like to hear this, but I personally believe that Harry has made overtures about coming back for a visit. I think he’s been taking everyone’s temperature and trying to work out a way to spend a week in the UK, and maybe at one point he was thinking about coming to this reception. But I think William is shutting it down, with Charles’ implicit agreement. I think William is manipulating the situation – in his Baldemort way – to deny Harry’s requests to visit, then blaming Harry for not making an effort to visit. It’s the Keen Method.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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