Prince Harry Will Skip Archie's Godfather's Wedding This Week: They Came to an "Understanding"

Meanwhile, Prince William is likely to be an usher.

Prince Harry and Prince William during Tom Parker Bowles And Sara Buys Wedding at St. Nicholas Church in Rotherfield Greys, Great Britain
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry is officially skipping his old friend the Duke of Westminster's wedding this week.

On Friday, the duke, whose name is Hugh Grosvenor, will marry his fiancée Olivia Henson in the British high-society wedding of the year, at Chester Cathedral.

People confirmed that the Duke of Sussex was invited to the ceremony, but that the two dukes made a mutual decision that it was best for Harry to sit this one out. Ultimately, it was an "understanding between the two friends," a source told People.

While, according to the source, Harry sends "his love and support and admiration for the couple," there were a few fairly solid reasons why his attendance would have been complicated.

First and foremost, his and his brother Prince William's frosty current relationship would mean that the wedding would mark their first public reunion since the Coronation—and would attract an amount of press attention that would be unfair to the couple.

William is expected to be an usher for Grosvenor.

Hugh Grosvenor, Duke of Westminster

The Duke of Westminster, Hugh Grosvenor.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Secondly, of course, any visit of Harry's to the U.K. is a source of strife, as he has to guarantee he will have access to adequate security—something that isn't easy to do now that he's no longer entitled to police protection in his home country.

Thirdly, and I'm assuming this is the order of importance by which the decision was made, things could get super awkward if William has to show Harry to his church pew as an usher, as pointed out by People.

Grosvenor is a longtime family friend of the royal brothers'. Exhibit A: He is godfather to both Prince George and Prince Archie.

Unfortunately, we've known since December that Harry was unlikely to be spotted at the nuptials. At the time, however, it was believed Harry didn't receive an invitation at all—which we now know isn't the case.

It's a shame that Harry is skipping this one, with royal expert Liz Jones noting in May that this could have been a golden opportunity for the brothers to reconcile. As we know, though, there have been many of those and still little to no progress seems to have been made.

prince harry and prince william walking

Prince William and Prince Harry pictured during one of their rare reunions of the last few years.

(Image credit: Getty Images)
Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.