Embattled Bahraini prince to miss UK’s royal wedding

April 26, 2011 - 0:0

LONDON (AFP) – Bahrain's embattled crown prince on Sunday turned down a controversial invitation to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton because of ongoing revolution in the tiny kingdom.

Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa had previously confirmed his attendance, fuelling criticism of the couple for inviting royals from Bahrain and other countries where protests have been crushed in recent weeks.
He said he had delayed sending his regrets, hoping for the situation in Bahrain to improve before the wedding in London's Westminster Abbey on April 29, which will be attended by royals from around 40 countries.
In a statement from his office in Manama, the crown prince said British media had “misrepresented” his stance and “clearly sought to involve my potential attendance as a political proxy for wider matters involving Bahrain.”
Media reports had speculated that Crown Prince Salman would withdraw to avoid embarrassment after a bloody crackdown on mainly Shia Muslim protesters in Sunni-ruled Bahrain left at least 24 people dead.
Prince William's press office later confirmed the decision.
“We were informed this morning that the crown prince of Bahrain would not attend the wedding, and that the Kingdom of Bahrain would not send anyone in the crown prince's place,” a statement issued by the prince's press secretary said.