Today at 5.20 GMT on the BBC radio, The World Today, Clarence House appeared to distance themselves from the decision to not invite former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, and to pin the responsibility for this snub on Downing Street.
In a live interview, Coleen Harris, the former PR manager to Prince William, Henry and Charles, was asked about the decision to not invite Blair and Brown, the PR professional replied, “Yes, it does look rather odd, but the reason for it is that William is a member of the Order of the Garter, and there are only 24 members, and he wanted them to come as guests. Although this is a public event, it is a private wedding and not a state event. So there isn’t a requirement to invite former prime ministers, but the government advised on the guest list.”
When asked how many of those 1,900 guests does she think were invited by the couple themselves, she replied, “I think that several hundred were personal guests, close family, close friends, and some others that they wanted to acknowledge. William’s charities are represented, alongside members of his household. For Kate, people from her local village. But they also have to take into account that it is a public event, so they took advice from government and invited heads of mission and some other dignitaries as well.”
Although Ms Harris is not currently on the staff of the Princes, she spoke with confidence and put her answers forward as fact. She repeated her point that the government advised on the list and this was said in reply to the question of the snub to Mr Brown and Mr Blair.
Unless Clarence House wishes to distance themselves from Ms Harris, it remains for Downing Street to explain why they objected to the invitation of the two former Labour Prime Ministers.
The interview is here at 18 minutes.