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Prince William hosts private Kensington Palace reception for Princess Diana statue donors

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Prince William hasn’t forgotten those who made a special day for him possible.

The British royal hosted a private reception at Kensington Palace on Tuesday for donors who helped fund the statue of Princess Diana that was unveiled on what would have been her 60th birthday, Hello! Magazine reported.

According to the outlet, his wife Kate Middleton was also present to help co-host the reception.

While Prince Harry did not return to the U.K. for this week’s event, it is believed that the Duke of Sussex is privately reaching out to donors.

Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton co-hosted the event on Tuesday at Kensington Palace.
(Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

On July 1, the brothers put aside their differences and joined Diana’s three siblings for the private ceremony in the Sunken Garden at London’s Kensington Palace, a place the princess once found solace. It was the second time that the brothers had appeared together in public since Harry, 37, stepped aside from royal duties over a year ago.

The statue, which shows a larger-than-life Diana surrounded by three children, was commissioned by the brothers in 2017.

“Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better,” William, 39, and Harry said in a joint statement at the time. “Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the unveiling was a scaled-down event only attended by close family members. The reception at Kensington Palace allowed more contributors to attend.

Prince William and Prince Harry at Princess Diana’s statue unveiling.
(Getty Images)

Links between the brothers have been strained in recent months, with William defending the royal family from allegations of racism and insensitivity made by Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, from their new home in Southern California.

During a televised sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, Harry confirmed rumors that he and his brother had been growing apartment, saying that the relationship is “space at the moment” – though he added that “time heals all things hopefully.”

Days after the broadcast, William responded to questions called out by reporters, stating that “we are very much not a racist family.”

Since stepping back from royal duties, Harry has searched for a more peaceful existence in the U.S. that he could better control for his family. William has pressed on with royal life and the never-ending demands that accompany his role as second-in-line to the throne.

Britain’s Prince William, left and Prince Harry unveil a statue they commissioned of their mother Princess Diana, on what woud have been her 60th birthday, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, Thursday July 1, 2021.
(Dominic Lipinski /Pool Photo via AP)

Their mother passed away in 1997 from injuries she sustained in a Paris car crash. She was 36.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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