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Tuesday 18th February 2020

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge replacing Queen at major Palace summit as royal drama rumbles on

She's asked them to step up

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to stand in for the Queen at a major event as the royal crisis over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle rumbles on.

Prince William, 37, and Kate Middleton, 38, have reportedly been asked to host a reception on Her Majesty's behalf at Buckingham Palace to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit.

It will be Will and Kate's second royal engagement of the year (Credit: SplashNews.com)

Read more: Will and Kate make first joint public appearance since Meghan and Harry crisis

Taking place on Monday (January 20), the event will see African diplomats and business leaders join UK politicians, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at the main royal residence.

The Cambridges will be supported at the event by the Queen's daughter Princess Anne, youngest son Prince Edward and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

According to the Express, the Queen asked Will and Kate to stand in for her as she is still on her Christmas break at Sandringham and does not return to London until February 6.

The Queen reportedly doesn't get back from Sandringham until February (Credit: SplashNews.com)

The newspaper reported that the couple will formally receive all the Heads of State and Government along with their partners, and a group photograph will be taken of the guests with the royals.

Afterwards, Prince William will deliver a short speech in the state rooms of Buckingham Palace.

It comes amid turmoil following Harry and Meghan's shock decision to step down as 'senior' members of the Royal Family, become financially independent and split their time between the UK and Canada.

Opening up about its impact on his relationship with his younger brother, the Duke of Cambridge reportedly told a friend he can't "put his arm around" Harry any more and is "sad".

Will is reported to have said he can't "put his arm around" Harry (Credit: Neil Warner / SplashNews.com)

Read more: The Queen poses with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George for new Royal portrait

According to the Sunday Times newspaper, he said: "I've put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can't do that anymore; we're separate entities. I'm sad about that.

"All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we're all singing from the same page. I want everyone to play on the team."

The Buckingham Palace event will be the Cambridges' second royal engagement of the year, following an event in Bradford earlier this week where Kate made the surprise revelation that William doesn't want any more children.

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