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article imageRoyal Wedding: No invite for ex-prime ministers Blair and Brown

By Kev Hedges     Apr 28, 2011 in Politics
Westminster - Two former Labour Party premiers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, have been left off the royal wedding invitation list. Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw is insisting they should have been invited.
The Palace have said they were not invited because they were not Knights of the Garter. The Order of the Garter is the most senior and the oldest British Order of Chivalry and was founded by Edward III in 1348. Baroness Thatcher and Sir John Major, both former Conservative Party premiers, received their invites, although Sir John will be present, Baroness Thatcher will not because of ill health.
Although Mr Straw has said they "ought to be going", Mr Blair's spokesperson has said, "It's no real issue". Tony Blair was prime minister for the 10 years after Prince William's mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash in Paris. It was only on Thursday morning that Dr Sami Khiyami, the Syrian Ambassador, has had his invite to the Royal wedding withdrawn, as reported in Digital Journal.
More than 200 of the guests invited to Westminster Abbey on Friday will include those from the current coalition government ranks, diplomats and Commonwealth ambassadors. When the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer took place in 1981, all living ex-prime ministers were invited. Amongst those politicians who will attend the ceremony will include current Prime Minister David Cameron, his deputy Nick Clegg, Labour leader Ed Miliband and House of Commons Speaker John Bercow, reports BBC Politics.
Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
Mr Straw was keen to point out there was no conspiracy in the wedding invitation "snub". He told BBC Radio 4, "I frankly was surprised that two former prime ministers were not invited whereas in the equivalent situation in 1981, they were. My guess is that, reviewing the way the guest list has worked, in retrospect I think the decision-makers probably would have made some different decisions both in respect of former prime ministers and in respect of the number of ambassadors being invited."
The households of the Queen and Prince of Wales are behind the guest list but the final word is down to Prince William and Kate Middleton.
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