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Harry and Meghan weren’t the only victims of an invitation screwup for queen’s funeral

Harry and Meghan weren’t the only victims of an invitation screwup for queen’s funeral

While fans of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have pushed the idea that the California exiles were deliberately singled out to be snubbed and humiliated during the 11 days leading up to the Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, they might consider the case of Mary, the princess of Denmark.

Like Harry and Meghan, Princess Mary received an invitation for a funeral-related event that was later rescinded because the powers-that-be realized that she had been sent the  invitation by mistake.

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK SEPTEMBER 11: Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Mary arrive to Christiansburg Castle to attend the Queens Gala Dinner on the occasion of the 50 years anniversary of Her Queens accession to the throne on September 11, 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Several celebration activities both Saturday and Sunday have been cancelled, postponed, or modified out of the respect for the death of Queen Elizabeth II. (Photo by Ole Jensen/Getty Images)
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark and Crown Princess Mary arrive to Christiansburg Castle to attend the Queens Gala Dinner on the occasion of the 50 years anniversary of the queen’s accession to the throne on September 11, 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Ole Jensen/Getty Images) 

In her case, Mary received an invitation to attend the state funeral for the queen, which took place Monday, the Daily Mail reported. On Sept. 13, the Danish royal family confirmed that Mary would attend the funeral with her husband, Crown Prince Frederik, and his mother, Queen Margrethe II, who was Elizabeth’s third cousin and a close friend.

But at the funeral, the Australian-born Mary was a no-show as Margrethe and Frederik, serving as his mother’s plus-one, were seen arriving at Westminster Abbey.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 18: Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark (C) pay their respects as they view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state at Westminster Hall on September 18, 2022 in London, England. Members of the public are able to pay respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for 23 hours a day from 17:00 on September 18, 2022 until 06:30 on September 19, 2022. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. (Photo by Sarah Meyssonnier-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark pay their respects as they view the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II lying in state at Westminster Hall on September 18, 2022 in London, England.(Photo by Sarah Meyssonnier-WPA Pool/Getty Images) 

It was learned Tuesday that official invitations sent to heads of state only allowed them to bring one guest each to the funeral, the Daily Mail said. That meant that Mary’s original invitation was sent out in “error,” the Daily Mail said.

The British Foreign Office on Tuesday confirmed to the Daily Mail that it had sent an apology to the Danish Royal Household via the Danish Embassy. The “regrettable error” was made because of the Foreign Office having to send out so many invitations within a short space of time, the Daily Mail said.

Some 2,000 people were invited to attend the queen’s funeral, including Joe Biden and other presidents, prime ministers and heads of royal families from other countries. Foreign royals in attendance included King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, King Philip and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway and Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan.

Following the death of Elizabeth II at age 96, Queen Margrethe, 82, becomes Europe’s only ruling remaining monarch. She has ruled for more than 50 years.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark (right) waving as she rides in an open carriage with Queen Elizabeth II , on their way to Royal Ascot, England, June 17th 1980. (Photo by Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Getty Images)
Queen Margrethe of Denmark (right) waving as she rides in an open carriage with Queen Elizabeth II , on their way to Royal Ascot, England, June 17th 1980. (Photo by Dennis Oulds/Central Press/Getty Images) 

The plight of Margrethe’s daughter-in-law, Mary, somewhat echoes an invitation snafu last week involving Harry and Meghan. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were mistakenly sent an invitation to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace Sunday evening for world leaders and foreign royals.

As The Telegraph reported, after the invitation went out, palace aides declared that only working members of the royal family would attend. This announcement caused notable confusion around the Sussexes, who already have a frosty relationship with Harry’s family.

The Sussexes stopped being working royals in 2020 when they left royal life, moved to California and set out to be become financially independent global influencers by signing lucrative media deals with Netflix and Spotify.

On Friday evening, Harry and Meghan were told that there had been “a mix-up” with the invitation to the reception, The Telegraph said. They were told they were actually not invited to what has been described as an “official state event.”

As a result, the couple didn’t attend, but this “mix-up”  was among multiple slights the couple reportedly endured in the days leading up to the queen’s funeral. The Telegraph and other media outlets reported that the fraught relationship between the Sussexes and the royal family was one reason that the couple found themselves outside of the main line of family communications having to do with the queen’s death on Sept. 8 and planning for her funeral and other events.

There were reports that Harry didn’t receive word from King Charles III that his grandmother was dying until after Prince William and other family members were notified, leaving him to get his own flight to Scotland to see her at Balmoral Castle. Harry received news of her death as he was in flight.

There also was confusion about whether Harry, an Afghanistan war veteran, would be permitted to wear his military uniform to any of the funeral-related events — again because he is no longer a working member of the royal family. That controversy ended when Buckingham Palace, reportedly at the direction of Charles, reversed an edict on uniforms and working-royal status and allowed Harry to wear his army dress uniform at a vigil Saturday night at Westminster Hall.

The seating arrangement for Monday’s funeral at Westminster Abbey also stirred controversy, when Harry and Meghan found themselves in the second row. Media outlets declared that the second-row seats must constitute another snub.

Royal sources told the Daily Beast Tuesday that the seating for the queen’s eight grandchildren and their spouses wasn’t arranged by their place in the line of succession but by age. That’s the reason that Harry, 38, was seated in the second row, while his brother William, 40, and his older cousins, Peter Phillips, 44, and Zara Tindall, 41, got front row seats.

Meanwhile, back to Princess Mary’s invitation controversy: It didn’t quite end with the Foreign Office acknowledging its mistake and issuing an apology to the Danish royal family.

The Daily Mail reported that questions also were raised over why Spain and the Netherlands were allowed to bring more than two royal guests each to the funeral.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima, of the Netherlands, were accompanied by his mother, Princess Beatrix, while Spain’s former King Juan Carlos I and his wife, Sofia, also attended the funeral in along with his son, the current king, and his daughter-in-law.

Indeed, Juan Carlos’ presence at the funeral ignited controversy in Spain, the Daily Mail said. The disgraced former monarch, 84, abdicated the throne in 2014 over corruption allegations involving business deals with Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah. He has been living in self-imposed exile in Abu Dhabi ever since.

Juan Carlos was reportedly asked to not attend Elizabeth’s funeral by Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchéz, the Daily Mail reported, but Juan Carlos turned up anyway. Sanchéz only wanted the current king, Felipe, and his wife to represent Spain at the funeral.









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