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Major and Thatcher invited to Royal Wedding but no place for Brown or Blair

Tim Montgomerie

Screen shot 2011-04-24 at 07.28.52

Many Conservatives will no doubt be amused by The Sunday Telegraph's exclusive this morning. Although both Margaret Thatcher and John Major have been invited to next week's Royal Wedding no invitation has been issued to their Labour successors as Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

A St James’s Palace spokesman issued an explanation to Patrick Hennessy, the newspaper's political editor:

“Sir John Major is the only former prime minister going. Baroness Thatcher was invited, as were all Knights of the Garter, but is unable to attend. It is not a state occasion so there is no reason why they [Mr Blair and Mr Brown] would be invited.”

I'm not sure that that's an adequate explanation. Given that William Hague, Theresa May, George Osborne and Jeremy Hunt have all been invited this is hardly a wedding for family and friends. Not inviting Brown and Blair will be interpreted as an anti-Labour decision by a royal family that should be a source of unity for the whole country.

Although invited Baroness Thatcher will not be attending for health reasons. This is a reminder of the former Prime Minister's continuing frailty. Let us remember the great lady in our thoughts and prayers.