Prince Charles will not attend Princess Diana’s statue unveiling because the event could ‘resurface old wounds’ and bring back ‘happy, sad and regretful’ memories, a source has claimed.
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, and the Duke of Sussex, 36, are expected to put any tensions aside for the poignant event on Thursday at Kensington Palace to mark what would have been their late mother’s 60th birthday.
The brothers last paid tribute to their beloved mother together on July 1, 2017 when they attended a private service of ‘prayer and reflection’ at her grave in the grounds of Althorp House in Northamptonshire.
However, the Prince of Wales was more than 3,000 miles away, on an official visit to Canada.
‘He does find it terribly difficult,’ a friend said, speaking to The Times. ‘These moments have the potential to resurface old wounds, and it brings back memories for him; happy, sad, regretful.’
Prince Charles will miss Princess Diana’s statue unveiling because the event could ‘resurface old wounds’ and bring back ‘happy, sad and regretful’ memories, a source has claimed. Pictured, with fiancee Lady Diana Spencer during a photocall before their wedding while staying at Craigowan Lodge on the Balmoral Estate on 6 May 1981
Prince of Wales during a visit to Lloyd’s in central London to host the first in-person Insurance Task Force as part of his Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) on June 24, 2021 in London
A large box now covers the plinth where it is believed the statue has been put in position ahead of the event that falls on what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday
The source added: ‘Since Diana’s death, he has felt it best to keep those memories to himself and leave his sons to it.’
Another source previously told The Sun: ‘Charles has made it quite clear he will not be around beyond that because he is going to Scotland. There is no planned meeting between the three of them. Charles will leave the boys to it.’
It comes after reports that Prince William will visit his mother’s statue with his wife and children for a private moment ahead of its official unveiling.
The Duke of Cambridge is expected to view the memorial with his family privately in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden before joining his brother Prince Harry for the official event on Thursday.
The Duke of Cambridge is expected to view the memorial with his family privately in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden before joining his brother Prince Harry for the official event on Thursday
It is understood he wanted to give wife Kate and children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis a chance to see it before it was shown to the wider world.
A large box now covers the plinth where it is believed the statue has been put in position ahead of the event that falls on what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday.
Prince Harry is also expected to see the statue separately, the Telegraph reports, but is currently quarantining at Frogmore cottage in Windsor after flying in from his home in California.
Plans for the unveiling ceremony have been dramatically scaled back due to the pandemic with just a handful of guests – the estranged princes themselves and Spencer relatives – in attendance.
There will also be just one pool reporter and broadcaster able to attend.
Harry and William will make separate speeches as they pay tribute to their mother’s legacy.
They will also thank sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley for creating the statue, which has been in progress since 2017.
Is it still not known whether the Duchess of Cambridge will join her husband for the event.
The Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace was chosen as the ideal location as it was one of Princess Diana’s favourite places for reflection when she lived there
It was hoped that Kate would act as a peacemaker between the two brothers we have barely seen each other since Prince Harry’s departure for US last year.
The pair have privately told friends that they will do their utmost to ensure their differences do not distract from what they hope will be a moving celebration to recognise their mother’s ‘positive impact’.
Ever since they announced plans for the statue it has been bedevilled by problems. Originally it was hoped to be unveiled in 2017.
But there were delays over the design and, according to insiders, differences of opinion over what period in Diana’s life the statue should represent.
Such divisions led to a committee being set up after her death in 1997 in order to find a suitable way to celebrate her life to conclude that a statue would be wrong.
At the time, her family expressed reservations that no sculptor had ever properly ‘caught’ Diana. There were also real fears that a statue would become a shrine.
The six-strong committee headed by Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the Dukes’ former private secretary, has been instrumental in sourcing funds from private investors, said to include Sir Elton John and David Furnish.
The Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace was chosen as the ideal location as it was one of the Princess’s favourite places for reflection when she lived there.
The statue’s sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, is most recognised for his depiction of the Queen, which has appeared on all coins in the UK and Commonwealth since 1998.
He also designed a gold coin marking the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012.