Originally, over 100 people were set to attend the July 1 unveiling of Princess Diana's statue at Kensington Palace. However due to increasing COVID-19 cases, the plans changed, and now, only a handful of family and friends, including Diana's two sons, will be present.
While many are disappointed about the last-minute switch, a source told Page Six that "keeping the numbers down is a perfect ‘excuse’ for Catherine to stay away."
According to the source, Prince William "is fed up with the drama," so he's somewhat glad that Kate won’t get "dragged into this."
"Catherine’s absence speaks volumes," added the source. "William is determined that the Sussex drama does not overshadow this important moment of remembrance to his much-missed mother and is keeping that as his focus."
The small invite list is also not a huge blow to Kate, as it was previously revealed that William wants to bring her and their three children — Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3, — to see the monument before the big event.
"That private moment is far more important than the public rhetoric," the source noted.
At the July 1 ceremony, which will take place at the palace's Sunken Garden, the estranged brothers will be joined by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley, and the garden's designer, Pip Morrison.
It's been reported that Diana's ex-husband Prince Charles has chosen to skip the day, as reminiscing about the late Princess puts him in an emotional state.
"He does find it terribly difficult," the insider claimed. "These moments have the potential to resurface old wounds, and it brings back memories for him; happy, sad, regretful."
The statue has been years in the making, with William and Harry first commissioning the project back in 2017.
"It has been 20 years since our mother's death and the time is right to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue," they said in a joint statement. "Our mother touched so many lives. We hope the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on her life and her legacy."