Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

He’s coming home: Prince Harry WON’T snub Diana statue unveiling – new showdown looms

Meghan and Harry 'want to move on from feud' says expert

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The arrival of Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor on June 4 has dispelled fears Prince Harry would not be able to attend the unveiling of Princess Diana’s statue on July 1. Earlier this month, royal expert Russell Myers had cast doubt on Prince Harry’s presence at the event owing to Meghan’s pregnancy and the father’s desire to be by her side when the baby was delivered. 

But Lilibet’s arrival last week will give the chance to the Duke of Sussex to spend several days with his daughter before leaving for London.

Raising hopes of the Duke’s trip to the UK, a source told the Daily Mirror: “Harry has said he will do his utmost to be there.

“He wants to put on a united front with William and pay an appropriate tribute to their mother.”

Leaving newborn Lili, Archie and Meghan may prove difficult for the besotted dad. 

However, Prince Harry also had to travel shortly after the birth of his firstborn.

Three days after Archie’s arrival, the Duke was in The Hague to launch the 2020 Invictus Games.

However, this year’s journey is set to be much longer, as the Duke will have to quarantine on arrival for 10 days prior to July 1 – or five days if he can produce a negative test.

Last summer, Prince Harry and Prince William came together in a rare joint statement to announce they would pay tribute to their mother’s life and legacy on the day she would have turned 60. 

The announcement, shared by Kensington Palace, read: “The statue that Prince William and Prince Harry have commissioned to commemorate their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, will be installed next year on what would have been her 60th Birthday.

“The statue was commissioned to mark the 20th anniversary of her death and recognize her positive impact in the UK and around the world.

“The statue will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking the Princess’s 60th birthday.

“The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.” 

A plinth for the statue has already been laid at Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden.

The area is believed to have been Diana’s favourite spot on the grounds.

On the 20th anniversary of her death, the Garden was transformed into a floral tribute for the late Princess of Wales, displaying her favourite cream and white blooms – including roses, lilies and tulips.

This unveiling will mark the first event attended together by Prince Harry and Prince William since the funeral of Prince Philip in April. 

And many royal watchers hope it will help the Dukes to soothe their rift.

The relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William is believed to have been frosty for years and to have worsened since the Sussexes announced their decision to step back as senior royals.

In October 2019, the Duke of Sussex first admitted he and his brother would always be there for one another but were on “different paths”.

Harry has spoken about his bond with William once again in March 2021 during his interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying their relationship at the moment is one “of space”.

After the funeral, Prince William and Prince Harry were spotted speaking on their way back to Windsor Castle. 

And they reportedly spoke together with Prince Charles once at the Queen’s resident.

But reports speaking of a summit between the three royals were hugely played down in the wake of the Duke of Sussex’s return to LA.

Another key event that is hoped to heal the rift between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family is the birth of Lilibet Diana, whose names pay tribute to both the Queen and the late Princess of Wales.

Explaining the poignant, choice, a statement issued by their spokesperson on Sunday said: “Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet.

“Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honour her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales.” 

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