Prince Harry is Back in the UK

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Prince Harry has returned to the U.K in anticipation of the unveiling of a statue dedicated to his mother, Princess Diana of Wales, next Thursday on what would have been her sixtieth birthday.

This is the first time Harry has been back in the U.K since his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral back in April. He has since become a father for the second time to baby Lilibet, who was controversially named after Queen Elizabeth II.

The prince has arrived ahead of schedule as he will likely need to quarantine before the event.

Princess Diana was tragically killed in a driving accident in August 1997, aged thirty-six. Prince Harry was just twelve years old when he lost his mother, while Prince William was fifteen. Diana’s activism and glamour made her an international icon and earned her enduring popularity as well as unprecedented public scrutiny, exacerbated by her tumultuous private life. Her legacy has had a deep impact on the royal family and British society.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Harry and William commissioned the statue together, and many are hoping that coming together to remember their mother could be a way for the pair to reconcile. The pair are said to have drifted apart since Harry left the royal family last year. The brother’s relationship seems to be tense following Harry’s onslaught of abuse directed at their father and the Firm over the past twelve months.

It’s said that because of COVID-19 restrictions, the brothers have scaled back the unveiling event somewhat and are now having a more intimate affair, with just themselves, close family (it’s expected that Kate Middleton will be in attendance), and some of Diana’s relatives.

A follow-up event is reported to take place in September with more guests in attendance, such as former staffers and supporters of Diana.

The plans for the statue have been in the works for some time now, with the display originally due to be unveiled four years ago. However, royal correspondents said there was a lot of back and forth regarding the design, as well as which era of Diana’s life it was to represent.

“The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy,” Kensington Palace previously said about the poignant installation.

Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, will not be joining him on the trip to the U.K.

This will be the second time the Duchess of Sussex misses out on a trip to London. Previously she missed the funeral of Prince Philip, Harry’s grandfather, back in April, when she was almost 8 months pregnant. It is said that she will not be joining now due to postpartum reasons since the birth of Lilibet. Rumors speculate whether it is due to the ongoing feud between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family which prevents her from returning to the U.K.

Previous to the pair leaving in January 2020, Meghan had lived in the U.K for 2 and a half years.