The Danish Royals had confirmed Princess Mary’s attendance on September 13, writing: “HM The Queen and the Crown Prince Couple [will be] present at the State Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II”.
But on September 19, the family issued another statement reading: “Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness The Crown Prince’ would ‘participate from Denmark.” No mention was made of Princess Mary’s absence.
Official invites sent to current heads of state allowed them to bring one guest to the funeral service at Westminster Abbey, but Princess Mary’s original invitation was sent out in “error” after it was suggested that the guest of Queen Margrethe was also invited to bring a guest.
The Foreign Office has now confirmed it sent an apology to the Danish Royal Household via the Danish Embassy.
The error was made with the Foreign Office having to send out many invitations within a short space of time.
Questions were raised over why Spain and the Netherlands were allowed more than two royal guests each, but it is understood that invitations were extended to former monarchs from both countries.
A Foreign office spokesperson said: “The FCDO has passed on their profound apologies to the Danish Royal Household through the Danish Embassy.”
Yesterday saw Westminster Abbey fill up with 2,000 people including world leaders, foreign royals and several hundred ordinary Britons chosen by the Queen for her funeral.
But Australian-born Princess Mary, 50, was noticeably missing from the service, while her husband Prince Frederik and mother-in-law Queen Margrethe, were in attendance.
BT’s royal correspondent Jacob Heinel Jensen said the Danish royal house would have been ‘upset’ by the eleventh hour change.
“It’s really clumsy and unfortunate... It has meant that the Royal House must now say that a mistake had been made, and that is embarrassing,’ he said.
“I think the Royal House easily understands that a mistake has been made. I wondered myself when I was in London and the British media wrote that there were only two invitees per country.
“After all, you got the feeling that there really must be extra close ties between Denmark and Britain’s royal house if we got three invitations.”
Representatives of more than 20 Royal Families were present at Sunday’s service including the reigning monarchs of the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway.