Sarah Ferguson may only be invited to the afterparty of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, according to a new report Tuesday, which says that Harry dug his heels in to insist that his “awkward Auntie” not be excluded from the event, as she was from his brother’s nuptials, when she fled to a spa in Thailand to escape scrutiny.
Despite the fact that Prince Philip and Prince Charles have both allegedly “made no secret” of the fact they would prefer Fergie to be anywhere else but at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, a royal aide told the Daily Mail: “Harry has nailed his colors to the mast on this. He wants his aunt there—and she will be.”
The Mail quotes a source saying: “It has been made very clear by Buckingham Palace that they don’t want the Duchess of York to attend.”
Harry has remained on good terms with Prince Andrew’s ex, however, and has even been on York family holidays at their Verbier, Switzerland, ski lodge.
“He absolutely, 100 percent wants her there and has told palace officials that in no uncertain terms,” the Mail quotes its source as saying.
One compromise option being actively explored by the palace is reportedly for Fergie to only attend the afterparty—a banquet for 600 people in the grounds of Windsor Great Park.
The Daily Express broke the news that Fergie, Prince Andrew’s ex who is especially loathed by Prince Philip (he believes she has tarnished the reputation of the royal family with her well-publicized affairs and commercial efforts), would be invited to attend the wedding despite assumptions that she would be about as popular as Donald Trump, given Philip’s alleged refusal to be in the same room as her.
Fergie’s invite is the most visible sign of the waning influence of Philip on the family. He retired from active royal duties last year.