King Charles III reportedly snubbed Princess Diana’s brother by leaving him off the guestlist to Saturday’s coronation ceremony.
The decision not to invite Earl Spencer to the momentous occasion is said to have shocked members of the earl’s family, who anticipated that William and Harry’s uncle would be asked to attend.
Earl Spencer famously promised to look after the two Princes at the funeral of Diana in 1997, but has been distant from senior royals ever since the well-publicised breakup of Charles and Diana’s marriage.
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Insiders say that Charles’ decision not to invite Earl Spencer may revive tensions between Diana and Camilla’s families, who were at odds during the time Charles rekindled his romance with the now Queen Consort.
A friend told The Independent: “What’s galling is that Earl Spencer may well have turned down the invitation for obvious historic reasons, but this brutal exclusion left no option for any elegant diplomacy.”
Many others who form part of the aristocratic old guard have also been left off the guestlist, including a number of dukes who played key roles in Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953.
Instead, Charles has chosen to invite a number of celebrities, including Ant and Dec, singer Nick Cave and magician Dynamo.
Andrew Parker-Bowles, the new Queen’s ex-husband, is also expected to attend.
The snubbing of Earl Spencer takes on particular significance considering his and Diana’s father, John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer, was an equerry to the late queen and therefore played a key role in her coronation.
A close friend told The Independent: “It is pretty brutal, even though it would have been tricky for him had he been invited. But that would have allowed him to decline rather than being dropped and snubbed.”
Prince Harry, who has also found himself at loggerheads with the royals, arrived on a commercial flight from Los Angeles on Friday morning and will attend the coronation on his own.
He will not perform any royal duties during the event and will both be absent from the procession behind the Gold State Coach carrying the newly crowned King and Queen from Westminster Abbey back to Buckingham Palace after the ceremony.