UNITED KINGDOM/FILE: The lack of royal wedding invitations for former British prime ministers Tony Blair and...
- Title: UNITED KINGDOM/FILE: The lack of royal wedding invitations for former British prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown provokes mixed reaction
- Date: 29th April 2011
- Summary: TELEVISION LIGHTS ON TRUSS CAMERA OPERATOR MOTORCADE BEARING KATE MIDDLETON LEAVES WESTMINSTER ABBEY AFTER WEDDING REHEARSAL, CROWDS CHEERING.
- Reuters ID: LVABJMZ4159BTUK6Z3TVF4FG0SWO
- Location: United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom
- Duration: 00:00:33
- Topics: Royalty,Domestic Politics
- Story Text: Londoners and royal wedding fans on Thursday (April 28) offered mixed reactions to the news that former British Prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have not been invited to the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Blair and Brown, who were both Labour prime ministers, have been passed over for invites in contrast to their immediate predecessors, Baroness Margaret Thatcher and Sir John Major, who were both conservative premiers.
Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported that, while Thatcher had declined on the grounds of ill health, Major would be attending.
The paper quoted a spokesman for St James's Palace as saying that Blair and Brown had not been invited because - unlike Sir John and Thatcher - they were not Knights of the Garter, all of whom received invitations.
Sir John was also said to have been invited for the "very specific reason" that he was appointed a guardian to Princes William and Harry following the death of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, the report said.
The spokesman told the paper that there was no protocol reason to invite Blair or Brown because it was a private wedding and the couple could invite whomever they chose. William was not yet Prince of Wales and therefore did not have links to former prime ministers in the way that higher status royals did, the spokesman said.
Whatever the official reason, some Londoners thought the lack of invites for Blair and Brown represented a snub.
"It's kind of shocking that they wouldn't invite them, you know and I think that's quite a scary thought to me that they didn't, you know what I mean. More is the social and political aspects for the future if they wouldn't invite somebody that's had a huge impact on the country, going to war and all these major issues so yeah, I don't think that's good. I think that's quite a negative statement," said Jason, London resident.
"But they invited the Beckhams," Jason's sister, Nancy, observed, archly.
Royal fans were more accepting of the official explanation.
"I don't think it is a snub to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. I think that Margaret Thatcher and John Major are Knights of the Garter, as William is also a Knight of the Garter, so I just think they are inviting their party. I don't think it's a snub against the Labour Party at all,"one man camping outside Westminster Abbey said.
A crowd of royal fans and media personnel was building outside the Abbey - the venue for Friday's (April 29) wedding - on Thursday.
Well-wishers cheered as a motorcade bearing Middleton left the Abbey after a final rehearsal.
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