A butcher, barman and estate agent: But no room for Blair and Brown on the Royal Wedding guest list
Snub: Former Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are not invited to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton
Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have been snubbed in the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, due to take place this Friday at Westminster Abbey.
By contrast, both their Conservative predecessors, Sir John Major and Baroness Thatcher have been invited. Lady Thatcher declined for health reasons although Sir John will be at the ceremony.
It’s the first controversy to arise after the full list of invitees emerged which includes celebrity friends the Beckhams and Elton John as well as the postman and pub landlord from Kate’s home village.
The apparent reason for the snub is that the two former Labour prime ministers are not Knights of the Garter, unlike the two former Conservative prime ministers.
The Order of the Garter is the country’s highest order of contribution to national life and is conferred by the Queen. Lady Thatcher was given the honour in 1995 and Sir John in 2005.
The full list of guests attending the historic occasion include comedian Rowan Atkinson, a close friend of Prince Charles, and singer Joss Stone, who performed at the memorial concert for Diana in 2007 – and whom William is said to have had a crush on during his brief split from Kate.
Other VIPs include Princess Victoria of Sweden and her former personal trainer husband. The prime minister of Australia Julia Gillard, who is known for her republican views, and her boyfriend Tim Mathieson, a hairdresser turned estate agent, have also made the cut.
Not on the list: Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have missed out on invitations to the Royal Wedding…
… but the prime minister of Australia Julia Gillard, known for her republican views, and her boyfriend Tim Mathieson, a hairdresser turned estate agent have been invited, along with Basil Charles (right), owner of Mustique’s Basil’s Bar
The postman and pub landlord from Kate’s home village of Bucklebury, Berkshire will be attending Westminster Abbey on Friday along with Basil Charles, a bar owner who is part of the Middletons’ ‘Mustique set’.
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During his time as prime minister, the relationship between Mr Blair and the Palace was known to be strained. His wife Cherie Blair refused to curtsy to the Royals and Mr Blair was embroiled in controversy over the arrangements surrounding the funeral for the Queen Mother in 2002.
Mr Brown’s dealings with the Royal Family were said to have been less tense but more formal.
Making the cut: The Queen greets Lady Thatcher at a Falklands memorial service in 2007 while Tony and Cherie Blair look on
More than 1,000 of the 1,900 in the congregation at the abbey will be friends – who have been given the best seats.
William and Kate’s immediate families and close friends from St Andrews University, where they met, will have the best view. Close to 500 of them will be seated in the North Lantern and the North and South Transepts and Stalls, which have unobscured views of the Sacrarium where the couple will exchange their vows.
While protocol has dictated that members of Foreign Royal Families and Crowned Heads will be seated next to the Royal Family in the South Lantern, the couple’s friends are spread out.
Many will be seated in the North and South Stalls which have also been reserved for representatives of the Church and members of the Cabinet.
Abbey days: All the ‘very best friends’ will have seats towards the top of the Abbey, while Prince Charles’s personal friends, more than 250 of them in total, have been demoted to the North Nave