Why Prince Harry Declined An Invitation to Hugh Grosvenor’s Wedding – Vanity Fair

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“It would have been terribly awkward if [Prince Harry] had said yes because of the situation with William,” a source tells Vanity Fair.

June 6, 2024

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It may be the society event of the year but Prince Harry will not be attending the wedding of his close friend Hugh Grosvenor, the 7th Duke of Westminster, when he marries his fiancée Olivia Henson at Chester Cathedral on Friday.

Despite conflicting reports, Vanity Fair understands that Harry and Meghan Markle were invited to Friday’s ceremony, but politely declined so as not to overshadow the event or risk any awkward encounters with Prince William, who is an usher and will be bringing his son Prince George as his plus-one.

Grosvenor, who is known as Hughie to friends, is Britain’s youngest billionaire and is close to both William and Harry. He is the godson of King Charles, and the godfather to both Prince George and Prince Archie. According to one source, “Hughie did the right thing inviting both brothers while Harry did the diplomatic thing and politely declined saying there were no hard feelings. It would have been terribly awkward if he had said yes because of the situation with William.”

Given the Grosvenor family’s close connection with the royal family, it is likely that the 400-strong guest list will include other royals as well as some of the country’s wealthiest families like the Van Cutsems, who are close to King Charles. The reception is being held at Grosvenor’s 11,000-acre estate at Eaton Hall.

Charles, who has been in France for this week’s D-Day anniversary commemorations, is not expected to attend the wedding as he has been urged to rest after two strenuous days of engagements in Portsmouth and Normandy. Kate Middleton will also be a notable absentee as she continues to undergo preventative chemotherapy.

While Prince Harry’s absence will likely set tongues wagging among the congregation, Vanity Fair has been told that Harry has no plans to return to Britain this summer. It was reported Tuesday that Harry and Meghan will not attend next week’s Trooping the Colour ceremony to mark the king’s birthday, but as non-working members of the family, they would not expect to be invited.

King Charles does, however, plan to invite some of his family to Balmoral later this summer, following a tradition set by the late Queen Elizabeth II, but it is unclear whether the invite will extend to the Sussexes. Princess Lilibet celebrated her third birthday earlier this week and Charles is said to be keen to see his California-based grandchildren.

But according to friends of the Sussexes, Harry and Meghan do not plan to come to the U.K. during the summer. “They are very settled and happy in Montecito where they plan to spend most of the summer,” says a source. “It’s the quiet life Harry has always wanted and he is actually very happy.”

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