He has pledged to be at Kensington Palace on what would have been his mother’s 60th birthday – July 1 – to attend a ceremony with his brother Prince William just as senior figures inside the royal circle were becoming increasingly doubtful that he would make it. Harry, 36, and William, 38, agreed to put their strained relationship to one side to come together to unveil the statue at their late mother’s former home. But Covid travel restrictions, quarantine, lockdown and the fallout from other cancelled events, together with the announcement that Harry’s wife Meghan is pregnant with their second child, had led courtiers to wonder whether it would be left to just William to unveil the statue in the sunken garden at the palace.
Harry may now come over for a shorter visit than he had planned. It is understood he had originally intended to return to Britain for an extended period.
His schedule had included attending the Invictus Games, the international competition for injured troops he created in 2014, in The Hague from May 29 to June 5.
Between then and the statue unveiling, there is also his grandfather Prince Philip’s 100th birthday on June 10 and Trooping the Colour on June 12.
But on February 2 it was announced that the Invictus Games had been postponed until 2022 and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have since announced that Meghan, 39, is pregnant. It is not clear when she is due but she is thought to be around five months pregnant, meaning a summer birth.
One source said: “I thought he would still come over until I saw that the Invictus Games was off. Now I’m not so sure.”
Another said: “I can’t see him coming over now with a baby due.”
But the Daily Express has established that Harry is adamant he will be at the unveiling. It is unclear whether he will bring his 21-month-old son Archie, who has not seen his grandfather Prince Charles or great-grandparents the Queen and Prince Philip since the Sussexes left for Canada in the autumn of 2019.
Meghan is not expected to come over and the question of if or when she will next visit Britain is unclear.
The statue unveiling is one of the few royal events that looks guaranteed to take place this year.
Several others in the royal calendar may have to be cancelled or closed to the public because of continuing concerns over the coronavirus.
Buckingham Palace will make a decision next month about Trooping the Colour, and Royal Ascot in June may have to be held behind closed doors again.
There have been fears over whether the strained relations between William and his brother over Harry and Meghan’s exit from official royal duties will cast a shadow over the statue.
But their late mother’s legacy is one thing that does still unite them. William has previously made it clear that both of them take an equal share in perpetuating her memory.