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Europe

Prince Charles to attend D-Day commemorations

©

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-03

Britain's Prince Charles will attend D-Day commemorations in France after an apparent diplomatic faux pas in which Queen Elizabeth II, who was a member of the British armed forces during the war, was left off the guest list.

AFP - Britain's Prince Charles is to attend D-Day commemorations in France next weekend, a spokesman said Tuesday, after a diplomatic tussle over whether Queen Elizabeth II should be invited.

"The Prince of Wales will be attending the commemorations on D-Day in Normandy on the invitation of (French) President (Nicolas) Sarkozy," said the spokesman for Clarence House, the prince's official residence.

An official invitation was received from the French ambassador, the spokesman added, while it was understood that Charles had spoken to his mother the queen to suggest he should go, and they agreed it would be "appropriate".

The royal change of mind came after US President Barack Obama's spokesman said Monday that Washington was working with organisers of the D-Day events to invite the British monarch, after it emerged she had not received an official invitation.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the queen was embarrassed by remarks made by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who said at the weekend that he had "done his public duty" by accepting an invitation from Sarkozy.

France had said the queen was welcome to come, but said it is up to the British government -- in theory Brown -- to decide who attends.

Brown had said that he would arrange for the queen to attend if she wanted to -- and his Downing Street office appeared caught short by the White House intervention.

"While we welcome the White House's intention to be helpful, we are not aware of any involvement from the US administration on this issue," a Downing Street spokesman said late Monday

Date created : 2009-06-02

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