The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have reportedly been excluded from the upcoming wedding of the Duke of Westminster, a lifelong friend of Prince Harry and Archie’s godfather, as the fallout from the publication of Endgame rumbles on.
But it is understood he did not invite Harry in order to avoid a family clash at the wedding and risk “anything overshadowing the day”.
Prince William is said to be up for the job of best man at the wedding on 7 June, with the Duke of Westminster also godfather to Prince George.
A friend of William and Harry’s told The Sunday Times: “It’s incredibly sad it has come to this. Hugh is one of very few close friends of William and Harry’s who has maintained strong bonds and a line of communication with both.
“He wishes they could put their heads together and patch things up, but realises it’s unlikely to happen before the wedding. He wanted to avoid anything overshadowing the day, especially for Olivia, and doesn’t want any awkwardness.”
On Saturday night, a spokesperson for the Duke of Westminster said: “We are not in a position to comment on the guest list.”
The Duke of Westminster became engaged to Ms Henson earlier this year.
One of the UK’s richest men, he took over his family’s billion-pound fortune and estate when his father, Gerald, died in 2016 after having a heart attack while walking on his Abbeystead estate.
Grosvenor Group owns about 300 acres of land in the Mayfair and Belgravia areas of London, as well as major city centre developments such as Liverpool’s ONE shopping centre, and the duke is part of the royal inner circle.
It comes as the royal racism storm exploded again this week following the release of Omid Scobie's second book Endgame.
Copies were pulled from shelves in the Netherlands after the Dutch translation was found to have named King Charles and Princess Catherine as two royals alleged to have raised “concerns” about the skin colour of Archie ahead of his birth.
Endgame claims the names were discussed in letters exchanged between the Duchess of Sussex and the King.
The claims were initially made against one senior royal in Harry and Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, but the couple declined to name the person allegedly behind the remarks, fearing the backlash would be “too damaging for them”.
Harry and Meghan are yet to break their silence on the unfolding drama but have faced calls to respond.
Appearing on This Morning on Thursday, Mr Scobie brushed off the naming of the senior royals, claiming he never submitted the book with the names in.
He later told BBC Two’s Newsnight that a “full investigation” was underway to discover how the names were included in the translation amid questions that the move was a PR stunt designed to boost sales.
The Dutch publisher initially dismissed the edition containing the names as a “translation error”.
But translator Saskia Peeters, who worked on Mr Scobie‘s latest book, refuted claims she had added the names of the two royals in the Dutch translation of her own accord, despite the English version leaving them out.
“As a translator, I translate what is in front of me,” she told Mail Online.
“The names of the royals were there in black and white. I did not add them. I just did what I was paid to do, and that was translate the book from English into Dutch.”