The Duke of Edinburgh will make a last minute decision as to whether to attend Princess Eugenie’s wedding, royal sources have told the Telegraph.
At 97, Prince Philip now operates on a “wake up and see how I feel” basis, according to insiders.
A well-placed source said: “The Duke of Edinburgh may not go to the wedding, just as he and the Queen did not attend Prince Louis christening in July.
“There’s not a three line whip on these family occasions. Not unreasonably, when you consider his age, the Duke of Edinburgh will decide on the morning of the wedding if he’s going to be there. He now very much operates on a ‘wake up and see how I feel’ basis.”
The revelation comes after it was announced Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, would not be attending Friday’s 11am ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, because she is carrying out a series of engagements in Scotland.
Her spokesman said the invitation to help local schools celebrate harvest festival “pre-dated” the wedding invitation she received from Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank several months ago.
He denied reports that it was because Camilla did not get on with the mother of the bride, the Duchess of York. “They get on very well, the couple has no issue with it – they have known about the diary clash for some time.”
However a source close to the Yorks said they were “upset” by the snub.
Doubts over Prince Philip’s attendance come after the Telegraph reported that “Fergie” will be treated as “part of the family” on the big day, even though she hasn’t spoken to her former father-in-law since she divorced Prince Andrew in 1996.
Philip once described Sarah Ferguson as “odd and pointless” and is said to still blame her toe-sucking antics for bringing shame on the royal family in the Nineties.
Although Sarah is still close to the Queen, holidaying with her at Balmoral for the third year running in August, Philip is always notably absent when she stays in the Scottish castle with her ex husband and daughters Eugenie, 28, and Beatrice.
Her latest trip to the Highlands coincided with Princess Beatrice’s 30th birthday celebrations, where the Queen was guest of honour but the Duke did not attend.
The Queen, 92, and the Duke are understood to have already travelled down from Balmoral to London in preparation for spending the weekend in Windsor.
A royal insider added: “The royals are like any family in the sense they try to make family occasions but it is not always possible. I’m sure he would love to be there to see his granddaughter get married but no one would blame the Duke if he didn’t feel up to attending the wedding on the day – he’s only three years off 100.”