There have been lots of questions about why Kate isn’t attending the unveiling of the Diana statue. First of all, to my knowledge, she was never publicly scheduled to go. I never saw any mainstream/reliable royal reporter claim or confirm that Kate would attend (I could have missed it, but I don’t think I did). I saw that The Mirror stated Kate would be there, but their source actually just reflected that it would be nice for Kate to go, which is undoubtedly true, but not confirmation that she would indeed go. Several Kate fan accounts repeated that on social media, but again, I didn’t see any press say Kate would go.
I am sure the Palace has a lot of reasons for keeping this a brothers-only event. I can imagine there are a variety or pros and cons they worked through. Camilla Tominey is reporting in the Telegraph this morning that:
“Aides had agonised over whether Kate, 39, should attend Thursday’s engagement but she will not be present. While William, 39, always wanted his wife of 10 years to be by his side, there were concerns that Harry might feel ‘outflanked’ by the Cambridges if they were there together, and he was on his own.“
I don’t mind that Kate isn’t going. This arrangement leaves the focus more squarely on the boys and Diana herself. Would it have also been nice to have Kate there? Sure. I just don’t think it is a huge, huge deal that she is not.
The other story that seems to be circulating is that this unveiling provides an opportunity for William and Harry to reconcile or start the healing process. I find that baffling. From the shocking allegations of racism in the Oprah interview, to the swipes at the family in the various interviews that followed after that (Dax Shepard and the Apple TV event), to the more recent doubling down by Omid Scobie on the race issue, William and Charles must be angrier than ever, and frankly Harry looks about as bitter as we’ve ever seen him. This is also an ongoing situation. The Sussexes seem to be waging an active campaign against Harry’s father and brother, and in doing so, against the monarchy as an institution. It isn’t like they’ve called a ceasefire.
Camilla Tominey’s Telegraph piece points out that although there had been more sympathy for Harry than Meghan when the couple initially left the Palace (“Before they left for the US, palace staff had nicknamed Meghan ‘Duchess Difficult’ while Harry was referred to as ‘The Hostage’.”), the royals now blame the couple equally:
“According to one source: ‘Before Oprah there was some sympathy for [Harry], but not after that. He knew the damage he was doing. That he looked deeply uncomfortable tells you everything you need to know.’”
To me, that is the key. Harry has been on the inside, watching his grandmother painstakingly steer the historic institution of the monarchy through troubled, modern waters. To survive, it is critical that the monarchy stave off scandal, remain politically neutral, and play its constitutional role properly. The royals aren’t guaranteed their position in a predominately democratic world. From the royals’ perspective, it is a very deadly game.
Those serious considerations, coupled with the very suspect manner in which Meghan alleged racism against the royals, leaves Harry with really no excuse. I cannot imagine how his family feels about him right now, but the attitude cannot be a warm one.