Harry 'WAS given a save the date to Duke of Westminster's wedding but turned ... trends now
Harry and Meghan's absence from the guestlist for the high society nuptials at Chester Cathedral has attracted significant interest, not least because the Duke of Sussex and Hugh Grosvenor are childhood friends.
Mr Grosvenor, who invited the Prince and Princess of Wales, was said to have wanted to invite the California-based couple but decided against it to avoid clashes on his big day amid soaring tensions following the release of Omid Scobie's new book.
He was also believed to be mindful of a row that complicated his sister's wedding at the same venue in 2004, when Camilla Parker Bowles was invited but told to sit away from Prince Charles to avoid the Queen seeing them together.
But now a different account has emerged in Page Six, with an insider claiming that Harry had been sent a 'save the date' for the wedding only for the prince to phone Mr Grosvenor and tell him it would be 'too awkward' for him and Meghan to attend.
The source, presumably close to the Sussex camp, said the Duke of Westminster - who is godfather to Harry's son Archie - 'understood' his position on the matter.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle received a 'save the date' to the Duke of Westminster's wedding but declined the invitation to avoid an 'awkward' clash with the royal family , sources have claimed. Pictured: Harry and Meghan at the Invictus Games in September this year
It was reported that Hugh Grosvenor decided not to invite the Sussexes to his wedding to Olivia Henson next June in a bid to avoid 'drama' and so that the row between Harry and William wouldn't overshadow his big day. Pictured: Hugh and Olivia in April this year
But a source close to Harry, 39, has claimed he personally called the Duke to 'apologise' and say that both he and his wife Meghan would not be attending the nuptials at Chester Cathedral because 'it would be too awkward'. Harry and Prince William (pictured together in July 2021) are understood to be in a feud
The remark was issued after a friend of William and Harry responded to the alleged snub, claiming it was 'incredibly sad it has come to this'. Pictured: Kate, William, Harry and Meghan on the long Walk at Windsor Castle arrive to view flowers and tributes to HM Queen Elizabeth II on September 10, 2022
'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 Markle attended, so he made his apologies and Hugh understood,' the insider was quoted as saying.
MailOnline has approached both the Sussexes and Duke of Westminster for comment.
Mr Grosvenor, 32, is to marry Olivia Henson, 30, at Chester Cathedral on June 7. The King, Queen, Prince and Princess of Wales and Prince George, who is the Duke's godson, are invited.
The Daily Mail revealed on Monday that Mr Grosvenor was mindful of a royal row that complicated his sister's ceremony at the same venue.
'Hugh knows how sensitive wedding invitations can be,' a friend of the family said.
She would also have to arrive separately. This was because Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were due to attend the ceremony.
A Buckingham Palace courtier was quoted as saying at the time: 'It may provoke comment on the day, but Her Majesty will also be attending and she is a stickler for protocol.
'A pew will be set aside for the members of the Royal Family attending, and it would be inappropriate for Mrs Parker Bowles to sit beside Prince Charles since she has no official standing.
'Even for Mrs Parker Bowles to arrive with the Prince at the event, in the presence of the Queen, would be to confer rights and status upon her that she simply does not have.'
A friend of William and Harry spoke out about the row on Sunday, telling the Times it was '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,' the friend said.
'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.'
A spokesman for the Duke said on Sunday: 'We are not in a position to comment on the guest list.' Buckingham Palace also declined to comment.
It is believed William and Kate and the King and Queen Camilla are all invited to the June 6 wedding, with the Prince of Wales even thought to be in the running to be best man. The Prince and Princess of Wales are pictured together in October
Grosvenor, who is thought to own more land than the King, has an estimated net worth of £9.42 billion and has a long history with the royal family - with his late father Gerald acting as King Charles' own godfather. Pictured: Grosvenor with his mother in 2018
Prince William (right), and the Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor (centre) in 2018
It is thought Prince William is in the running to be Grosvenor's best man. Pictured: William with Grosvenor in 2004
Known as Hughie to this friends, the billionaire Duke is also godfather to William's son Prince George, ten.
A life-long friend for each of the brothers, he is thought to be the only pal both chose to mentor their children.
Grosvenor, who is thought to own more land than the King, has an estimated net worth of £9.42 billion and has a long history with the royal family - with his late father Gerald