Kate Middleton will have to miss the unveiling of a Princess Diana statue after the guest list was slashed. The event has been scaled back for precautionary measures as the Covid-19 delta variant continues to affect the United Kingdom. 

An official Buckingham Palace press release revealed that only the two princes, close family of the late Princess of Wales, members of the statue committee, the statue’s sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, and garden designer Pip Morrison would be in attendance. The honorary statue will make its debut on July 1, on what would have marked Diana’s 60th birthday. Harry and William commissioned the artwork in 2017 – the 20th anniversary year of Diana’s death – to celebrate the princess with the creation of a permanent statue. Rank-Broadley is known for his design of the Queen on British coins.

Last week it was reported that invitations to the unveiling at Kensington Palace had already been drastically scaled back in recent days from the 100-plus guests originally planned due to COVID-19-related rules. Prince Charles, Diana’s ex-husband, may also be absent, as it has been reported.

Harper’s Bazaar reports that “William will bring his wife, Duchess Kate, and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, to view the statue for a private family moment sometime before the official unveiling.”

There’s a theory that if Meghan Markle isn’t going to the Princess Diana statue unveiling then Kate Middleton shouldn’t either. Some say that the Palace feels that Meghan’s omission will be less glaring if Kate isn’t there either. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

A source told Page Six: “Catherine’s absence speaks volumes.” With the Duchess absent, there won’t be a buffer between the two princes, no one to “broker peace.” Kate Middleton has reportedly tried to smooth things over between the brothers since Meghan and Harry left for the United States. Of course, the tension has only gotten worse since the bombshell Oprah interview aired.

As for the vague statement made about the guest list, Kensington Palace “declined to comment” when contacted by Insider. While most of the royal family will not be in attendance, it is uncertain which “close family” members will show up to the event.

Prince Harry has already landed in the U.K. and is currently in quarantine at his Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage. Fox News writes, “[Harry] is believed to have been visited by his grandmother the Queen.” His wife, Meghan Markle, is at home in California caring for their 3-week-old daughter, Lilibet Diana, and their 2-year-old son, Archie.

While an anonymous royal source told Harper’s Bazaar that “it was always going to be the two brothers,” another sources tells Page Six that it’s the royal family’s attempt to reduce the media’s reports of family “drama.”

Another theory about Kate Middleton’s absence? Some royal fans believe that it would be glaring if Kate were by William’s side and Meghan wasn’t by Harry’s side. There is a theory that the Palace is doing everything in its power to quash bad publicity. If there are no wives by the brothers’ sides it may distract from the fact that Meghan is not on good terms with Harry’s family.

Either way, it appears that there will be no peace keeper on the big day. A source told Page Six, “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.” It seems that William doesn’t want the media to focus on the “rift” between the Sussexes and the Cambridges to deter from what matters, commemorating his late mother, Princess Diana. The source who calls Harry “petulant” and “defensive” also adds that “it’s highly doubtful there will be a coming together of the brothers for anything more than the unveiling.”