None of the senior royals except Prince William were in attendance at the unveiling of Princess Diana's statue at Kensington Palace on July 1, what would have been her 60th birthday, but they reportedly had a valid reason for their absence.
According to a report in Us Weekly, the late royal's ex-husband Prince Charles, ex-mother-in-law Queen Elizabeth II, and other senior royals including her daughter-in-law Kate Middleton decided to skip the event as they did not want to take attention away from the statue.
A source claimed to the outlet, "The royals wanted to keep it very personal and not have many family members in attendance since that would be a takeaway from the special moment." The insider added that "this wasn't a last-minute decision," as the family had decided a few weeks ago that the others royals wouldn't be attending.
"Meghan [Markle] just had her baby, [Duchess] Kate watched from afar with the kids, and same with the Queen. Charles had said he didn't want to be a distraction," the source explained.
Instead of the royal family, members from the Spencer family were invited to attend the unveiling done by Diana's sons Prince William and Prince Harry. The Princess's elder sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes were present at the event, along with her younger brother Earl Charles Spencer.
"Her sons took the lead in commissioning this statue. It was something the Spencer family had to campaign for, so it was only right that those who wanted it the most and put in a lot of effort to get it were there for the unveiling," the insider said about the decision.
The source noted that the royal family members will "certainly" visit the statue to pay their respects at a later time, especially Kate who really wanted to be there to see the unveiling of her mother-in-law's statue.
"Out of respect for Harry and William, they wanted it to be just about Diana's sons and not a huge public affair. Kate was definitely supporting William while physically not being there and really wanted to attend, but the family as a whole decided it was best for the kids and her to stay at home," the insider insisted.