Prince Harry turned down an invitation to the Duke of Westminster’s wedding, sources close to the Sussexes have claimed.
It had been suggested at the weekend that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were deliberately excluded from what will be the biggest society wedding of 2024 to avoid a Royal family clash.
But sources close to Prince Harry have now insisted that his lifelong friend Hugh Grosvenor, 32, sent him a “save the date” for his upcoming wedding to Olivia Henson, 30.
An insider told the Page Six website that Prince Harry told the Duke it would be “too awkward” for him and his wife to attend the wedding, which will be held at Chester Cathedral next June.
It was initially reported that the Duke wanted to invite Prince Harry and Meghan, but decided against it amid concerns over tensions with the Prince of Wales.
The Duke, who is the King’s godson and one of Britain’s richest men, will marry Miss Henson on June 7.
The King and Queen, as well as the Prince and Princess of Wales and their eldest son Prince George, who is the Duke’s godson, are all invited to the occasion. The Sunday Times has reported that the Prince of Wales is in the running to be best man.
The insider close to the Sussexes told Page Six: “Harry actually got a ‘save the date’ card a few months ago, but called Hugh and said it would be too awkward if he and Meghan attended, so he made his apologies and Hugh understood.”
A friend of Prince William and Prince Harry previously said it was “incredibly sad” that it has come to the pair not being able to be at the same wedding for fear of clashes.
They told the Sunday Times: “Hugh is one of very few close friends of William and Harry’s who has maintained strong bonds and a line of communication with both.
No comment on guest list
“He wishes they could put their heads together and patch things up, but realises it’s unlikely to happen before the wedding. He wanted to avoid anything overshadowing the day, especially for Olivia, and doesn’t want any awkwardness.”
Representatives for the Duke of Westminster have declined to comment on guest list matters, stressing that it is a private wedding.
Representatives for the Sussexes have been contacted for comment.
The reports of tensions over the wedding come as the fallout continues over claims that the King and the Princess of Wales speculated on the possible skin colour of the Sussexes’ first child, Prince Archie, before he was born.
The claims were first made in the Sussexes’ 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, although they did not name those involved.
The King and Princess of Wales were later named in relation to the alleged comments in the Dutch version of a new book about the Royal family by Omid Scobie.
While the Sussexes have been urged to speak out in defence of the King and Princess, the couple have chosen to remain silent.