Royal fury: How Kate and William were accused of ‘deliberate snub’ by Labour Party

Even if it may feel like yesterday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge walked down the aisle more than eight years ago. It was April 29, 2011, and Kate Middleton made history when she said “I do” to Prince William at Westminster Abbey. The day was declared a public holiday in the UK, but since the Duke of Cambridge is not the first-in-line to the throne, the wedding was not a full state occasion, which meant many details of the big day were left down to the couple.

The wedding was watched live by 36 million people and was jam-packed with all the usual pomp and ceremony of a royal occasion.

The guest list included more than 1,900 people and had its fair share of celebrities and politicians, including the Beckhams, Sir Elton John, the late Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and David Cameron.

However, there were two people missing from the guest list, who had been widely expected to attend.

Neither Tony Blair or Gordon Brown had been invited to the ceremony, despite it being a “semi-state” occasion.

By contrast, both their Conservative predecessors, Sir John Major and Baroness Thatcher, both received invitations.

A spokesman for St James’s Palace said Mr Blair and Mr Brown had not been invited because neither were Knights of the Garter, unlike Sir John and Lady Thatcher.

However, Labour MPs rejected the Palace’s statement and accused Clarence House of a blunder.

All surviving former prime ministers from both major parties, Harold Macmillan, Alec Douglas-Home, Harold Wilson, Edward Heath and James Callaghan, attended the Prince of Wales’s marriage to Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1981.

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.”

Labour MPs clearly showed their irritation with the Palace when they sat stony-faced as Mr Cameron and Ed Miliband wished Prince William and Kate Middleton well a few days before the wedding.

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According to a 2011 report by John Rentoul, the Independent’s chief political commentator, the decision not to invite Mr Blair and Mr Brown was clearly a snub and arguably an act of revenge.

Listing specific reasons why the Royal Family may have decided to not invite the two Labour grandees, Mr Rentoul wrote: ““The Windsors cannot forgive Blair for helping to save them from the nation’s dangerously angry mood after the death of Princess Diana.

“Blair’s memoir. In it, he boasted about saving the monarchy while typically recognising that this might stoke resentment: ‘The Palace had asked me to read a lesson [at Diana’s funeral]. It was a mark of how pivotal my role had been through the week, but I also knew it would lead to a charge of muscling in. Indeed, throughout, we were walking a tightrope, thinner and more frayed by the day, between organising everything to go well and ‘cashing in’ or exploiting.’

“Worse, he quoted liberally from the Queen. This is against the rules that are designed to avoid letting ‘light in on the magic; and which she guards jealously. Serious danger of a Victorian sense of humour failure.

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“Blair’s book also includes an account of a conversation with Prince William, aged 15, in the days after Diana’s death. He was ‘grieving but angry’, and Blair provides a cost-benefit analysis on his behalf: ‘For all the sense of duty, the prison walls of hereditary tradition must have seemed too high a price to pay.’

“Brown’s cancellation of the replacement for Britannia, the royal yacht.

“Labour’s spiteful (as the Royal Family sees it) ban on hunting.

“Cherie’s reluctance to curtsy, or to conceal her republican tendencies.”

Mr Rentoul also argued that even if William may have taken offence at Mr Blair’s conduct in 1997 or at the words in his book, it was the entire Royal Family, led by the Queen, who “held no torch” for him.

He added: “It is hard to imagine that the Queen would have been fond of Brown.

“For example, during a visit to the London School of Economics in November 2008, she said of the financial crash: ‘Why did nobody notice it?’

“Even if she had been, he could hardly have been invited and Blair not.”

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