Kate Middleton ‘may step in to attend unveiling of Diana statue next month if Harry cannot attend’


Kate Middleton may ‘step in’ to attend the unveiling of a statue dedicated to Princess Diana next month if Prince Harry cannot make it, according to a royal expert.

The Duke of Sussex is due to fly back to the UK this month for the unveiling on July 1 at Kensington Palace on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday.

He is due to attend the ceremony with Prince William, with whom tensions have been reportedly high following his bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

But he and his wife Meghan Markle, who live in California, are expecting their second child this Thursday, on what would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday.

The birth of their baby daughter could derail Harry’s plans to attend the event, according to Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers. 

Speaking to the Pod Save The Queen podcast, Mr Myers said the duke’s extraordinary allegations of racism within the Royal Family could make his reunion with his brother William ‘very uncomfortable’.

Kate Middleton may ‘step in’ to attend the unveiling of a statue dedicated to Princess Diana next month if Prince Harry cannot make it, according to a royal expert

The Duke of Sussex is due to fly back to the UK this month for the unveiling on July 1 at Kensington Palace, on what would have been Diana's 60th birthday

The Duke of Sussex is due to fly back to the UK this month for the unveiling on July 1 at Kensington Palace, on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday

The statue of Diana commissioned by her sons is set to be placed and unveiled in the princess' favourite spot on Kensington Palace's grounds, in the Sunken Gardens

The statue of Diana commissioned by her sons is set to be placed and unveiled in the princess’ favourite spot on Kensington Palace’s grounds, in the Sunken Gardens

Harry and Meghan’s baby daughter ‘is due on what would have been Prince Philip’s 100th birthday – with expectant parents thinking about naming her after the late Duke, the Queen or Princess Diana’

Harry and Meghan’s baby daughter is due on Thursday, June 10, on what would have been Prince Phillip’s birthday, according to reports.

The expectant parents are considering naming her after the late Duke, the Queen or Princess Diana, The Sun reported on Saturday.

Citing Royal insiders in the United States, the newspaper claimed that the Sussexes have thought about naming their newborn Pip after Harry’s late grandfather, or Lily after his Grandmother – Queen Elizabeth II.

‘The baby is due on Philip’s birthday and it would be so special if she came then,’ the source told the newspaper. ‘That, and naming her Pip, would be a lovely way to pay tribute to Philip.

‘Harry has been discussing the due date and possible names with his close pals and they’re talking about it quite openly now it’s getting close.’

Another name reportedly being considered by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their second child is Diana, after Prince Harry’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

According to the bookies, Dianna is favourite to the baby’s name at 4-1 odds.

The source told The Sun that while the names Lily and Pip ‘aren’t exactly traditional royal names,’ the couple have not taken the traditional route as a royal couple.

The couple’s new baby will their second after Archie, who is two. 

‘Will there be an appetite for him to keep on criticising his family in that way? He’s potentially going to be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his brother when they unveil the Princess Diana statue,’ he said. 

‘That could make it very, very uncomfortable, [although] whether he comes over is a matter for debate at the moment because they are expecting their second child.

‘Meghan is about to give birth, one would presume – they said early summer – so whether he will, whether he won’t. 

‘Maybe Kate will step in to not have William do it on his own.’

Harry and William were last reunited at their grandfather Philip’s funeral in April, and are due to meet again to pay tribute to their mother who died in 1997.  

The statue is set to be placed and unveiled in the princess’ favourite spot on Kensington Palace’s grounds, in the Sunken Gardens.  

Relations between Harry and William have been reportedly tense after the Duke of Sussex made a series of damaging public remarks.

In his Apple TV show The Me You Can’t See, Harry appeared to snipe at his family by referring to the ‘shame’ felt by relatives when confronted with mental health problems.

‘As parents, as siblings, certainly from what I’ve learned, there’s an element of shame we feel because we’re like, ‘How could we not have seen it?’

‘But we all know when people are suffering and people are struggling that we’re all incredibly good at covering it up,’ he told the actress Glenn Close, who was a guest in the episode.

In his earlier appearance he accused Prince Charles of leaving him alone to suffer the trauma of the death of his mother, Princess Diana. ‘My father used to say to both William and I, ‘Well, it was like that for me so it’s going to be like that for you,’ ‘ he claimed.

‘That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer. In fact, quite the opposite.’

A friend of William previously told the Mail on Sunday that the Duke of Cambridge fears Harry’s ‘truth-bombing’ will go a step too far and further damage relations with the Royal Family.

A source said there were ‘concerns rather than fears’ at Buckingham Palace that Harry and Meghan will make further allegations. 

It comes as Harry is set to have his HRH title expunged from notices at a new royal fashion exhibition featuring his mother’s wedding dress.

Placards at the Kensington Palace exhibit last week described dresses worn by Diana as ‘Lent by HRH the Duke of Cambridge and HRH the Duke of Sussex’. 

Now the Royal Collection Trust, which oversaw the loan of the gowns, said the labels ‘were incorrect and will be updated’, citing an ‘administrative error’.

Under the terms of the historic deal struck at Sandringham last year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were allowed to keep their HRH titles but never use them. 

Royal experts are likely to regard the move to remove Harry’s HRH title from signs at the exhibit, called Royal Style in the Making, as a sign of the sensitivity over the duke and duchess’ sudden departure from royal life.  

Prince Harry is set to have his HRH title expunged from notices at a new royal fashion exhibition featuring his mother Princess Diana's wedding dress

Prince Harry is set to have his HRH title expunged from notices at a new royal fashion exhibition featuring his mother Princess Diana’s wedding dress

Placards at the Kensington Palace exhibit had described dresses worn by Diana - including her wedding dress - as 'Lent by HRH the Duke of Cambridge and HRH the Duke of Sussex'

Placards at the Kensington Palace exhibit had described dresses worn by Diana – including her wedding dress – as ‘Lent by HRH the Duke of Cambridge and HRH the Duke of Sussex’ 

The Princess of Wales' wedding dress is prepared for display at Royal Style in the Making

The Princess of Wales’ wedding dress is prepared for display at Royal Style in the Making

Harry and Meghan quit royal life last year and moved to an £11million mansion in Montecito, California to become financially independent.

Since then, they have signed deals with Netflix and Spotify reportedly worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and are expecting a baby daughter this week.

But critics have questioned whether the couple should have their royal titles removed after making a series of high-profile public remarks.

In their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, the pair made extraordinary allegations of racism against the Firm after Meghan claimed a senior royal – who has not been named – asked what colour their son Archie’s skin would be.

Harry and Meghan also criticised Donald Trump during the US presidential election and lent moral support to the Black Lives Matter movement last year. 

Harry is due to return to the UK this month to join Prince William for the unveiling of a statue of Diana the brothers commissioned four years ago in her memory, although Kate Middleton may reportedly fill in for her husband.

The statue will be unveiled in the public grounds of Kensington Palace on July 1, which would have been the princess’ 60th birthday.

Representatives for the Sussexes have been approached for comment. 

It comes as Harry and Meghan are now listed below Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, as well as the Princess Royal and the Duke of York on the official site. 

Prince Charles’ growing role as an active heir preparing to ascend to the throne is reflected in his own promotion to the top of the ‘Royal Family’ section on www.royal.uk. The Queen has been removed and is featured higher on the page.  

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now listed below Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex, as well as the Princess Royal and the Duke of York on the official royal site
Elsewhere, the Princess Royal was moved up five places to sit below the Duchess of Cambridge on the website page. And the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were added to the bottom, just beneath the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. Pictured, as it was on April 22

How the website looks now, left, and how it used to look on April 22, right. Of the website change, Buckingham Palace told MailOnline it had no comment ‘other than that we refresh the website regularly’

Despite the reshuffle, the website still claims the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be ‘balancing their time’ between the UK and the US.  

It follows Prince Edward and his wife the Countess of Wessex taking part in their first major interview since their marriage in 1999.

The couple shared a laugh over Harry and Meghan’s controversial Oprah interview as they insisted the royals remain a family ‘no matter what happens’.

It was recently revealed Sophie is one of four loyal, discreet and ‘utterly trustworthy’ women of the Queen’s inner circle who are offering crucial support as she faces life without her beloved Prince Philip, who died on April 9, aged 99. 

Of the website change, Buckingham Palace told MailOnline it had no comment ‘other than that we refresh the website regularly’. 

Elsewhere, the Princess Royal was moved up five places to sit below the Duchess of Cambridge on the website page. And the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent were added to the bottom, just beneath the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

Under the Duke and Duchess of Sussex the website reads: ‘They are continuing to honour their duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and their patronages.

‘Frogmore Cottage in the UK remains their family home.

‘The Duchess will continue to support a number of charitable causes and organisations which reflect the issues with which she has long been associated including the arts, access to education, support for women and animal welfare.’ 

Yesterday, speaking in their first major interview together since they married in 1999, the Earl and Countess of Wessex jokingly asked 'Oprah who?' and 'what interview?' when quizzed on whether they watched Harry and Meghan's bombshell sit down with the US chat show host

Yesterday, speaking in their first major interview together since they married in 1999, the Earl and Countess of Wessex jokingly asked ‘Oprah who?’ and ‘what interview?’ when quizzed on whether they watched Harry and Meghan’s bombshell sit down with the US chat show host 

Royal fans were confused when the official website went down briefly, and quickly spotted the changes once it was set live again.

One tweeted: ‘@KensingtonRoyal @RoyalFamily still have #meghanmarkle #princeharry in the royal website? Why?

‘They are not working royals and they aren’t ‘dividing their time between the UK and North America’ why are they being promoted on the website?’

The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral was the first time Prince Harry returned to the UK since he and his wife Meghan stepped down from their senior royal positions.

It comes as another blow following revelations the Earl and Countess of Wessex will join Prince Charles in a slimmed down monarchy.

Harry and Meghan previously complained they felt ‘pushed out’ by the Firm following their decision to step down from their senior rank. 

Yesterday, speaking in their first major interview together since they married in 1999, the Earl and Countess of Wessex jokingly asked ‘Oprah who?’ and ‘what interview?’ when quizzed on whether they watched Harry and Meghan’s bombshell sit down with the US chat show host. 

A royal source previously commented on the Countess of Wessex' close relationship with the Queen. ‘Sophie is like another daughter to the Queen, they are that close,’ they said. ‘She is trusted and relied on like few others’

A royal source previously commented on the Countess of Wessex’ close relationship with the Queen. ‘Sophie is like another daughter to the Queen, they are that close,’ they said. ‘She is trusted and relied on like few others’ 

They also reflected on Prince Philip a little over a month since his funeral – with Prince Edward describing how coronavirus restrictions created an ‘extremely odd’ ceremony, and the particularly poignant moment ‘when everything stopped’.

In the Wessexes’ first public comments since that momentous day, Sophie explained: ‘We are still a family no matter what happens, we always will be.’ 

The Countess of Wessex also admitted to having a ‘lengthy chat’ with Harry after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April.   

Sophie and her husband the Earl of Wessex, who married at Windsor Castle 22 years ago, said they were ‘flattered’ to be taking on a more prominent role in a slimmed-down monarchy since Harry and Meghan’s move to California.

In an interview with The Telegraph Magazine, Sophie said she had a ‘lengthy chat’ with Harry after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April. 

Speaking on the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April, Prince Edward, 57, said: ‘It was extraordinarily odd walking into St George’s Chapel and finding the nave completely empty. 

‘It’s always difficult with these kinds of things because you’re in the middle of it, so you’ve got no idea what it necessarily looks like from the outside. 

Prince Andrew sported a striped rugby shirt with royal insignia today as he went for an early morning horse ride in Windsor with a female groom

Prince Andrew sported a striped rugby shirt with royal insignia today as he went for an early morning horse ride in Windsor with a female groom

Donning dark sunglasses, a helmet, and riding slacks the Prince of York, 61, who lives at the nearby royal lodge, looked at ease as he enjoyed the June sunshine

Donning dark sunglasses, a helmet, and riding slacks the Prince of York, 61, who lives at the nearby royal lodge, looked at ease as he enjoyed the June sunshine

The Queen's second son, pictured today, recently became a grandfather for the first time when Princess Eugenie welcomed son August Brooksbank in February.

The Queen’s second son, pictured today, recently became a grandfather for the first time when Princess Eugenie welcomed son August Brooksbank in February.

‘It became really poignant to be there because it was suddenly so very intimate.’

A royal source previously commented on the Countess of Wessex’ close relationship with the Queen. 

‘Sophie is like another daughter to the Queen, they are that close,’ they said. ‘She is trusted and relied on like few others.’ 

The pair are said to speak at least once a day and enjoy regular Saturday ‘movie afternoons’ when they watch old films together.  

Prince Andrew was snapped sported a striped rugby shirt with royal insignia this morning as he went for an early morning horse ride in Windsor with a female groom.

The Duke of York, 61, appeared in high spirits for the day out as he waved from atop the horse.

The reports come as royal experts predicted the Duke of York was ‘trying to rehabilitate himself’ and get back into the royal fold – despite his brother Prince Charles pushing plans for a slimmed-down monarchy. 

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline that Andrew would ‘obviously like to be rehabilitated’, but must first answer FBI questions on his links to Jeffrey Epstein. 

From sketch to dress: Designers’ drawings that will go on display 

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