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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tony Blair, Gordon Brown not invited to royal wedding because....

Britain's two most recent Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, are not invited to Friday's royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

There are two different explanations for the non-invite. According to al-Guardian, it's all a matter of protocol.
Ministerial sources accused Clarence House of a blunder in declining to invite Labour's longest serving prime minister and his successor because they are not Knights of the Garter.

Sir John Major and Baroness Thatcher, who are members of Britain's highest order of chivalry, have been invited. Major, appointed guardian to Princes William and Harry after the death of their mother, will attend. Thatcher will not attend on health grounds.

One senior Whitehall source told the Guardian: "This is courtier lunacy. It beggars belief that St James's Palace is saying … that the wedding is not a formal state occasion and … that Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have not been invited because they are not Knights of the Garter."

Labour MPs have rejected a claim by St James's Palace that it is wrong to draw a parallel with the royal wedding in 1981 when all five former surviving prime ministers were invited. Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath and James Callaghan attended the Prince of Wales's marriage to Lady Diana Spencer which was a formal state occasion because he is heir to the throne.

Chris Bryant, Labour's former Europe minister, told the Daily Mail: "Those who have been prime minister have served this country, and I think that the same proprieties that have been followed on previous occasions should have been followed again."
At the Telegraph, Damian Thompson has a different explanation.
There is, however, a perfectly neat and plausible explanation, and it’s this.

Prince William cannot stand Tony Blair, whom he blames for making political capital out of the death of his mother – “the People’s Princess”, as Blair’s spin doctors dubbed her within hours of her death.

The Prince has a long memory and a capacity for cold fury. We catch a glimpse of it in the section of Blair’s memoirs relating to the week after Diana’s death: “I had also spoken to William who was not only still grieving but angry. He knew, rationally, why the week between Diana’s death and the funeral had to be as it had been. But he felt acutely the conflict between public position and private emotion.”

That anger is likely to have reawakened by Blair’s decision to record such a private conversation in the book. It is not hard to imagine William saying “I’m not having that man at my wedding” – and getting his way: after all, in nearly 60 years, only one of the Queen’s prime ministers has twisted her arm to persuade her to do something that went against her instincts, and that was Tony Blair virtually demanding that she broadcast to the nation after the death of William’s mother. And can anyone doubt that the Royal family dislikes blabbermouth Cherie more than any other prime ministerial spouse?

My guess is that the Blairs were never on the wedding list, and that this also explains the absence of the Browns. Inviting Brown but not Blair would have brought the feud into the open: the Palace could not even have trotted out its implausible Knights of the Garter story. If I’m right, then one can’t help feeling a bit sorry for Gordon and Sarah, who are being punished for the crimes of their predecessors. But perhaps they saw it coming: one doesn’t have to spend long in royal company to know that forgiveness doesn’t come easily to the Windsors.
But it's Tom Gross who has the most intriguing explanation of all for why Blair and Brown were excluded.
A “Who’s Who” of Arab dictators are invited to tomorrow’s British royal wedding, at the advice of the British Foreign office. But Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are not invited for the “crime” of overthrowing Saddam Hussein.
Hmmm. You can read more about some of those dictators at Tom's site and also here. The Syrian ambassador to London has earned the distinction of being the first person ever to have his invitation to a royal wedding withdrawn on the day before the wedding. More on that story here.

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At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see the British royals have the same wedding invitation feuds that we Jews have. :)

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Captain.H said...

Well, I didn't get my Royal Wedding Invitation either. Must be lost in the mail. And what's this Garter stuff all about? What do ladies' undergarments have to do with a state occasion? :-)))

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful day, didn't have to look at these two disgusting objects who took pleasure in destroying our country, at leasr the Syrian Ambassador who was also excluded didn't do us as much damage as these two, Also I was overjoyed at NOT seeing that letter box grin of Blairs missus


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