As celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth wind down questions are being asked about the absence of some previously very familiar faces from the line-up of royals attending major celebratory events.
Royal observers have been asking where the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson – better known as Fergie – has been in the past few days.
My Buckingham Palace sources admitted to me that from the start of planning Fergie has not been included on the guest lists for any of the public functions scheduled as part of the long weekend of Platinum Jubilee activities across the UK.
“One would not use the word ‘snub’, but one also wouldn’t blanch at using the words ‘deliberately excluded’ either,” one source involved in planning the schedule of celebrations told me.
However, despite her exclusion, Fergie, or should I say the Duchess, found time to express her personal sentiments about Her Majesty by lighting her own “jubilee bonfire” outside Windsor Castle (main picture) as part of the string of beacons and fires lit in communities across the UK on Thursday night to mark the official start of the long weekend of celebrations.
Fergie’s exclusion from weekend events is, I am told, one of the reasons another senior royal was “missing in action” from public events over the Platinum Jubilee long weekend.
Her husband, the Duke of York Prince Andrew, was, I am told, “absolutely livid” that his ex-wife was not extended the courtesy of an invitation to any of the public celebrations.
My sources tell me that the Duke was also incensed at his own exclusion from the traditional and famous Buckingham Palace balcony appearance by the Monarch which he tried to “crash” but was swiftly ushered away by royal household staff. (below)
“The Duke of York forcefully rejected the official reason for his exclusion, namely that the balcony line-up was to be restricted to ‘working royals’,” my source confided.
“His counter-argument – that none of the royals actually work so why should he be singled out – fell on deaf ears and he was soon diagnosed with COVID-19 by senior courtiers.”
Organisers of the Platinum Jubilee events had another “rogue royal” to contend with over the weekend.
While Their Ex-Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex kept largely out of the public eye, Prince Harry did cause a royal kerfuffle prior to yesterday’s public concert outside Buckingham Palace.
My sources tell me that Prince Harry was upset at the absence of any mention of his beloved mother Princess Diana during the jubilee celebrations.
“Prince Harry was so angry that he decided to take matters into his own hands,” one palace insider told me.
“It was obvious on his arrival at Buckingham Palace prior to the concert starting that he intended to make his point to the international TV audience due to watch the concert. (below)
“But luckily royal security staff were able to divert him to another entrance and led him to a basement room where Prince Harry spent the duration of the live concert playing cards with Prince Andrew.”