The Duke of Sussex has not made the journey to a party in Kensington Palace to honour the life of his mother, with a royal expert claiming this is likely to drive a further wedge between him and the Duke of Cambridge
Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Duke of Sussex’s decision to not attend a memorial party for his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, is likely to drive a further wedge between him and his brother, a royal expert has said.
Prince Harry will not be amongst those attending a party on Tuesday night at Kensington Palace to honour what would have been his mother’s 60th year.
The event was postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and was intended to thank donors for helping to fund the commemorative statue of Diana in the grounds of the palace.
Harry made the trip to the unveiling of the statue in July alone, choosing to leave behind wife Meghan and children Archie and Lilibet at their home in California.
Love the royals? Sign up for the Mirror’s daily newsletter to get all the latest news on the Queen, Charles, Kate, Wills, Meghan, Harry and the rest of The Firm. Click here to sign up
“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.”
With Harry’s announcement that he’s in the process of writing a memoir and memories of the Oprah interview still fresh in the minds of the royal family, there’s little surprise that relations between the brothers remain sour, says Duncan.
“It’s very easy to forget just how personal the attack on Oprah was against Kate,” he says. “William is understandably very protective of Kate and let’s not forget that Meghan directly accused Kate of making her cry rather than the other way round.
“She then accused Kate of briefing journalists against her, or at least not clarifying the truth of the story, when actually it’s a very strong allegation to make publicly.
“Between two members of the royal family it’s almost unheard of. The only other royal who’s done that is Diana when she was publicly attacking her husband.”
Despite all the rancour, Duncan describes Harry’s absence from the memorial party as ‘an opportunity missed’.
“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.”