A source close to Harry, 39, reportedly revealed that he had received a “save the date” card for Hugh Grosvenor’s hotly anticipated wedding to Olivia Henson next year, but refused the invite because “it would be too awkward” if he and wife Meghan attended amid ongoing royal family drama.
These comments were allegedly made in response to reports the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been “excluded” from his life-long friend, Grosvenor’s wedding ceremony.
The 32-year-old aristocrat decided against inviting the Sussexes to avoid a royal family clash at the wedding, with the King and Queen and the Prince and Princess of Wales expected to attend the wedding, according to a report by The Sunday Times.
Harry’s relationship with his brother, and heir to the throne, William has become increasingly strained over the past few years.
The fallout continues after the publication of British author Omid Scobie’s new book Endgame, which reignited a royal racism row concerning Harry and wife Meghan.
However, Harry’s decision to skip Grosvenor and Henson’s high-profile wedding was made before the controversy over Scobie’s book erupted, a source reportedly told Page Six.
“Harry actually got a ‘save the date’ card a few months ago but called Hugh and said it would be too awkward if he and Meghan attended, so he made his apologies and Hugh understood,” they said.
The Independent has contacted Harry’s representatives for comment.
A spokesperson for Grosvenor previously declined to comment on the wedding guest list in a statement to The Independent.
Grosvenor, one of the richest men in Britain, is extremely close to several members of the royal family. The duke is godfather to both William and Harry’s sons, Prince George and Prince Archie respectivel.
He is also King Charles’s godson while Grosvenor’s mother is William’s godmother.
The British landowner, with an estimated net worth of £9.4bn, will tie the knot with Henson, 30, at what is expected to be a lavish, private ceremony at Chester Cathedral on 7 June 2024.
William is reportedly in the running to be the groom’s best man.
A friend of William and Harry recently said the brothers’ continuing estrangement is “incredibly sad”, adding that Grosvenor “has maintained strong bonds and a line of communication with both” over the years.
“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,” they reportedly told The Sunday Times.
Neither Harry nor Meghan have commented on the allegations within controversial royal reporter Scobie’s book, after he claimed two members of the royal family raised “concerns and conversations” about Archie’s skin colour while Meghan was pregnant with him.
The controversy swelled after the book’s Dutch version identified Charles and Catherine as the senior members who allegedly speculated how dark Archie would be. Shortly after, the book was dramatically pulled from shelves in the Netherlands; it will go back on sale on Friday (8 December).
Scobie, 42, denied including their names in the English manuscript, chalking the gaffe down to a “translation error”.
Shortly after, it was sensationally claimed that the journalist’s UK agent did send publishers a draft copy of Endgame, which contained Charles and Catherine’s names, to be translated into Dutch.
United Talent Agency then sent a final version just weeks before the book went to print, this time omitting their names, according to The Sunday Times.
Buckingham Palace has not commented on the contents of Scobie’s book but is believed to be considering all options, including possible legal action.