Donald Trump faces the embarrassment of not being invited to the royal wedding, insiders said last night.
The US President is notoriously sensitive to snubs and might have expected to be asked to attend Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day.
But a Royal Household source pointedly said: ‘Although the guest list hasn’t yet been announced, there is no reason he would be invited.’
The potential snub is a second setback to Mr Trump following the cancellation of a planned visit to Britain next month.
Donald Trump faces the embarrassment of not being invited to the royal wedding, insiders said last night
Speaking about Mr Trump being invited to Harry and Meghan's wedding, a source said: ‘Although the guest list hasn’t yet been announced, there is no reason he would be invited’
President Trump is at the centre of an extraordinary diplomatic row over the new US embassy in Battersea (pictured)
In other US-UK developments last night:
- UK officials privately expressed their hope that the President could come to Britain at some point this year;
- Ministers are examining the idea of him visiting Scotland instead;
- The President’s claim that the lease on the old embassy in Mayfair had been sold for ‘peanuts’ was supported by documents showing the US received nearly £200million less than thought.
Mr Trump said he had called off the London trip because he disagreed with the decision to sell off the old embassy cheap. But observers suggested he did not want to run the gauntlet of protests.
London mayor Sadiq Khan was among those on the Left who commented yesterday, saying it was clear that Mr Trump had ‘got the message that many Londoners’ did not want him here. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also said he should not be invited.
Boris Johnson took aim at both men last night, accusing them of putting Britain’s relationship with America at risk. He labelled Mr Khan a ‘puffed up, pompous popinjay’.
Downing Street appeared to back his stance, with a source saying: ‘We agree that any risk to the crucial US-UK relationship is not in our country’s best interests.’
The row over the visit, which sparked headlines around the world yesterday, threatens a new crisis in Britain’s relations with the Trump administration. There is now no date for a visit by the President, who has been in office for a year.
The former US Embassy on Grosvenor Square in London's Mayfair, which Mr Trump has described as 'perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London'
London mayor Sadiq Khan was among those on the Left who commented yesterday, saying it was clear that Mr Trump had ‘got the message that many Londoners’ did not want him here
Royal Household sources made clear that Prince Harry’s nuptials were not a state occasion and would be, by royal standards at least, a more low-key, family affair than the wedding of his parents or brother. ‘Although the wedding is being attended by the Queen, it isn’t an official, state occasion. It is a family event,’ the source said.
‘Unless the President was a close personal friend, which he is not, there would be no protocol, no reason for him to be invited. Harry and Meghan have made clear that this is very much an occasion and a celebration for their close family and friends.’
Downing Street said it was a matter for the Royal Household. Previous royal weddings of those low down the succession list have not been attended by US presidents.
Richard Nixon was not present at the November 1973 wedding of Princess Anne to Captain Mark Phillips. Ronald Reagan was not present at the July 1986 wedding of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson.
And Bill Clinton was not at the June 1997 wedding of Prince Edward to Sophie Rhys-Jones.
But it does leave open the question as to whether Barack Obama, who was interviewed by Prince Harry for broadcast on Radio 4 only last month, is likely to be asked.
And if he does turn up, we could send him to Scotland
If Donald Trump comes to the UK, his visit could be centred on Scotland to cut the risk of mass protests.
Ministers are examining plans for him to meet the Queen at Balmoral Castle before visiting one of his two golf courses in Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire.
Officials believe using the Royal Family’s remote estate would prevent embarrassing scenes where Mr Trump is confronted by thousands of demonstrators.
A Cabinet source told the Mail: ‘Balmoral is obviously an easier location to secure because it is a private estate. The President could fly in without being hindered by protests.’
Mr Trump is said to have expressed interest in playing a round of golf at the Queen’s nine-hole course at the Aberdeenshire castle.
But Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon may scupper the idea of moving the President’s visit north as she has spoken out against any state visit.
It is also unknown if the President would want to make the trip if he was not given a full state visit, complete with carriage ride up The Mall to Buckingham Palace.
Mr Trump traces his ancestry back to Scotland where his mother Mary Anne MacLeod was brought up on the Hebridean Isle of Lewis, which he describes as ‘serious Scotland’.
She left for New York in 1930 aged 18 to work as a servant and six years later married successful property developer Frederick Trump.
The golf course at Balmoral, dating from 1925, only opened to the public last year with a charge of £200 for a round for four players.
Harry now counts him as a close personal friend and his instinct would certainly be to do so.
Michael Wolff, the US journalist behind a controversial book on Mr Trump, warned earlier this week that he ‘doesn’t like being snubbed’.
The Mail revealed yesterday that Mr Trump had scrapped his plan to make his first visit to UK as President next month to open the new £1billion US embassy in Nine Elms, south of the Thames. Sources suggested he was unhappy about the arrangements and the scale of the visit.
Then, a few minutes before 5am, Mr Trump confirmed the story, tweeting that he had cancelled his trip because he was ‘not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts”, only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars’.
He denounced the decision to move the embassy from Grosvenor Square as a bad deal, adding: ‘Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!’
US ambassador to the UK Robert Johnson said he agreed that the embassy’s old location on Grosvenor Square was ‘perfect’ but that a move was forced by security concerns following the September 11 terror attacks.
Madame Tussauds arranged for Mr Trump to visit the embassy yesterday – in waxwork form. Diplomatic staff and construction workers crowded around the model and posed for selfies.
British officials were last night still hoping the President could come to Britain at some point this year. Ministers even discussed a plan for him to meet the Queen at Balmoral instead of London.
But Mr Khan, who clashed with Mr Trump after he criticised his handling of the London Bridge terror attack, said: ‘His visit next month would without doubt have been met by mass peaceful protests.
‘This just reinforces what a mistake it was for Theresa May to rush and extend an invitation of a state visit in the first place.’