KEY POINTS

  • Prince William will host a party to celebrate donors who helped fund a statue honoring Princess Diana
  • Close friends and family of the late royal, including Elton John, will also be present
  • The private gathering was originally set for July when the statue was unveiled in London

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be returning to the U.K. for Prince William's tribute event for Princess Diana, a report says.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex "will not be in attendance" at the party that the Duke of Cambridge is hosting later this month to honor the late Princess of Wales, Us Weekly reported, citing an unnamed source.

The private get-together will celebrate the donors who helped fund a statue honoring Princess Diana that was unveiled during her supposed 60th birthday on July 1, according to the insider. Close friends and family of Princess Diana, including Elton John, will also be present. 

The party was originally set for July when both Prince Harry and Prince William attended the unveiling of Princess Diana's statue at Kensington Palace's Sunken Garden in London.

It is not clear why the event was moved or why the Sussexes chose to skip the gathering. But a second source told the outlet, "Harry is personally connecting with donors regarding the event."

Prince Harry has returned to the U.K. twice since he and Markle stepped back as working royals and moved to California. He flew to his home country in April to attend his grandfather Prince Philip's funeral. He then returned two months later for the unveiling of Princess Diana's statue

Markle, who was pregnant with their second child at the time, did not join her husband on both occasions. The Sussexes, who are also parents to 2-year-old son Archie, welcomed daughter Lilibet Diana on June 4.

The duchess has not been in the U.K. since she and her husband attended their last official engagement as working members of the royal family in March last year. Royal commentator Robert Jobson, author of "Prince Philip’s Century: The Extraordinary Life of the Duke of Edinburgh," suggested that Markle might not return to London anytime soon.

"I’m not sure Meghan will ever come to Britain again," Jobson told Us Weekly last month. "She’s not popular [right] now."

The royal expert also said he believes Prince Harry will attend Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, which celebrates the 70th anniversary of her time on the throne, next summer but isn't sure about Markle.

"We have to wait and see. … Harry, I’m sure he thinks he’ll be there for the [Platinum Jubilee]," he added. "But you’ve got to remember that within months, [Prince Harry is] going to have a book coming out. … It’s gonna be quite awkward."

In July, Prince Harry announced that he was working on an "accurate and wholly truthful" memoir, which will be released in late 2022 by Penguin Random House.

Nick Bullen, the CEO of Spun Gold who was supposedly dubbed the "King of Royal TV" for his broadcast relationship with the British royal family, told Us Weekly that releasing a tell-all book next year "could be seen as disrespectful" on Prince Harry's part because it will coincide with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle called for vaccine access to be treated as a human right during the Global Citizen Live festival in Central Park on September 25, 2021 in New York City Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle called for vaccine access to be treated as a human right during the Global Citizen Live festival in Central Park on September 25, 2021 in New York City Photo: AFP / Angela Weiss