Prince Harry was so ‘shocked’ by the ‘very, very cold reception’ he received from the Royal Family after he flew over for his grandfather Prince Philip‘s funeral that he may pull out of his upcoming trip to the UK in July, a royal expert has claimed.
The Duke of Sussex, 35, who lives in a $14.7million home in Santa Barbara, California with wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie, one, is next expected to return to the UK this summer for the unveiling of a statue of his late mother Princess Diana.
However, speaking to talkRADIO, Russell Myers has questioned whether the visit will take place and commented: ‘Some quarters of the family did give him a frosty reception and perhaps that did shock him somewhat.’
He went on to say how the Duke of Sussex may use the birth of his second child, who is expected to arrive in the summer, as a ‘convenient excuse’ not to ‘face the family’.
The statue was commissioned to mark the twentieth anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world.
It will be installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on 1st July 2021, marking The Princess’s 60th birthday.
Radio host Kevin O’Sullivan explained how Prince Harry looked ‘very out of sorts’ during his stay for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral recently.
He continued: ‘I’m wondering whether he received a very, very cold reception? I read that some quarters of the royal family literally just blocked him and didn’t even talk to him.
‘I think he may have been a bit shocked by the cool reception he got from his family, which begs the question, will he come back for the unveiling of the Diana memorial with his brother in July? Or will he pull out of that?’
Russell Myers replied: ‘I’m told he is still committed to coming. Both camps are. Certainly Kate and William will welcome him if he wants to come back.
‘His intention is to come back. One may wonder, if his wife has just had a baby, I’m sure he could jump on a private jet and make a flying visit.
‘But, will it be a convenient excuse so he doesn’t have to come back and face the family?’
He added: ‘I think a lot will determine what happens in the interim period. Some quarters of the family did give him a frosty reception and perhaps that did shock him somewhat.
‘I don’t think we will realise the fallout of that Oprah Winfrey interview for some time.
‘Maybe once we get back to a bit of normality, the rest of the family will start thinking about that a bit more carefully. It might not be good news for Harry.’
The brothers announced the commission of the statue two years ago on the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, and the initiative is one of their few remaining join ventures after a rift between the siblings and Harry’s move to the US.
The statue’s sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, is most recognised for his depiction of the Queen, which has appeared on all coins in the UK and Commonwealth since 1998.
He also designed a gold coin marking the Queen’s diamond jubilee in 2012.
The hope of repairing a rift between the pair comes in the aftermath of Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive two-hour CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey last month.
A source claimed to The Sun that Zara Tindall and her husband Mike had been playing peacemaker between the two for months before the Oprah interview.
And a source close to the sculptor told The Sun: ‘It will have been signed off by William and Harry, that much I do know.’
Prince William is said to be furious at Harry and Meghan’s tell-all to Oprah, after the pair levelled accusations of racism at the Royal family.
They claimed one member – who they did not name – had asked what colour Archie’s skin would be when Meghan was pregnant.
The interview came after the Duke of Cambridge was angered by the way the Sussexes ‘insulted’ the Queen with a ‘disrespectful’ response to her ban on them using the word ‘royal’ in future business ventures when they announced they were leaving royal life.
‘I know he did work closely with the boys and I think it will be incredible. We’re lucky to have him as an artist in the UK.’
Planners at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea previously approved plans for the statue despite only being given its dimensions and location.
Historic England also said the proposal would not have an adverse effect on the Grade I-listed Kensington Palace.
Jane Siddell, inspector of Ancient Monuments for Historic England, earlier wrote: ‘The proposed art installation is located within the Sunken Garden, an early 20th century element of the gardens located a little way from the east front of the Palace.
‘The location has been carefully chosen, with the statue to be located off-centre on one of the paths within the garden, close to an opening in the hedges.
‘It will be visible to the public viewing the garden, but the statue will not impinge upon views of, or from the Palace owing to its slightly sunken and screened position.
‘There is a tradition of statues being installed in Kensington Gardens and around Kensington Palace, for instance the statue of King William III to the south of the palace, and Queen Victoria by the Round Pond, and the proposed installation follows that tradition.’
Prince Harry had made reference to his relation with William during his interview with Oprah amid reports the brothers had fallen out in the wake of Brexit.
He told the talk show host: ‘As I’ve said before, I love William to bits. He’s my brother.
‘We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we’re on different paths.’
William insisted the royals were ‘very much not a racist family’ as he and Kate visited a school in east London to support a youth mental health support service in March.
Sky News reporter Inzamam Rashid asked him: ‘Sir, have you spoken to your brother since the interview?’
Prince William replied tersely: ‘I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I will do.’
Ian Rank-Broadley previously declined to comment and MailOnline reached out to Buckingham Palace.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Chloe Morgan