With 3,500 guests in attendance for Princess Di’s wedding, there had to be some drama. In this case, however, it was not family and friends involved in the drama, but other European leaders. Mind you, they were all invited to participate, but some declined – for a mixture of petty and legitimate reasons.
Let’s start with the little one, shall we? The Greek president declined his invitation because former King Constantine of Greece, Charles’ cousin, was invited under the title “king” (via story). King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia (another of Charles’s cousins) would also not attend, as the newlyweds went aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia for their honeymoon in Gibraltar, which was formerly British territory and had been claimed by Spain.
The most legitimate refusal was that of the President of the Republic of Ireland. In the same history article, historian Carolyn Harris said: “The President of the Republic of Ireland declined the invitation because of disputes over the status of Northern Ireland.” Known as The Troubles, Northern Ireland fought for its independence as it was still under British rule story. This conflict would last until 1998, so it makes sense that the President of the Republic of Ireland would not want to attend the 1981 British wedding.