Is This The Real Reason Kate Middleton Is Skipping The Princess Diana Statue Unveiling?

On July 1, 2021 — the day that would have marked Princess Diana's 60th birthday — Prince Harry and Prince William will reunite as a statue commemorating their late mother is unveiled at Kensington Palace, per Page Six. Prince Harry has already arrived in England and is quarantining at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor; Meghan Markle remained in the United States with the couple's two children, Archie and baby Lilibet.

The event initially had 100 people on the guest list, as reported by The Mirror, but this number has been cut significantly due to COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. "This is a small event and a very personal moment for the family," a source told the outlet. "Plans have been scaled back due to the current COVID-19 restrictions and media arrangements reflect both the size and tone of the event."

One of the people who has been removed from the attendee list is surprising, because it's none other than Kate Middleton.

There's speculation that COVID restrictions aren't the only reason Kate Middleton won't attend

Middleton is often viewed as the best person to play peacemaker between her husband and her brother-in-law, but a source told Page Six that William doesn't want any conflict or tension that could potentially distract from the tribute to his late mother.

"Catherine's absence speaks volumes," the source said. "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 ... 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."

Per Page Six, Prince Charles will also be absent from the event due to his complicated relationship with his ex-wife. The only attendees will be Prince Harry, Prince William, Diana's close family, and the sculptor and garden designer.

As reported by The Observer, William and Kate will take their three children to see the statue this week in advance of the unveiling ceremony.

Kate Middleton's absence has nothing to do with her royal connections

Although Kate Middleton's absence from the statue unveiling might seem telling on the surface, according to insiders, she was never going to be part of the official event regardless. "It was always going to be the two brothers," as an insider informed Harpers Bazaar. The Duchess of Cambridge's ties to her second family run deep, particularly considering she was recently revealed as the sponsor for a new naval battleship. As People reports, her husband, Prince William, made the official announcement while visiting the BAE Systems shipyard in Glasgow, Scotland.

William noted Queen Elizabeth herself made the official appointment, which pairs Middleton with HMS Glasgow, a new ship currently being built at the yard. The role will provide her a "strong and enduring personal connection to the vessel and her crew, often supporting milestones, events and deployments," according to the Duchess's Kensington Palace office. During his visit, William enthused, "I know that Catherine will be delighted to join you here in Glasgow for the naming ceremony in due course." 

Kate Middleton is focused on healing the rift between William and Harry

Although the drama between brothers Prince William and Prince Harry rages on, Kate Middleton is apparently quite chill about the situation, with a source informing The Telegraph she's "not the type to get het up" about such things and is simply focused on bringing their family back together again (via The Daily Mail). The Duchess is keen to "alleviate her husband's stress and sadness" above all else. According to Cosmopolitan, royal expert Robert Lacey reckons the famous couple don't see the point in even speaking to the Sussexes because their private conversations would likely be leaked.

Middleton's uncle, Gary Goldsmith, told The Mirror that she's a "brilliant arbiter and peacemaker" and if anybody can solve the warring brothers' issues, it's her. He even suggested that their behavior at Prince Philip's funeral, at which William and Harry were spotted arguing, was evident of how hard Middleton has been trying to make peace between them. He gushed, "Family and relationships are everything to Kate — she's very nurturing, she wouldn't like that [rift] happening and she is trying to look after her husband and do what she can to make things right."