Four royals declined D-Day invitation

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Gordon Newton, 84, who parachuted into Normandy on D-Day, wrote invitations to the royal but received letters from Buckingham Palace last month that said "with regret" both the brothers were involved in flight training with the RAF and Army. The Earl and Countess of Wessex were said to be on a pre-arranged trip to Canada.

"I said that on behalf of the veterans of the 9th Bn the Parachute Regiment we would love to see them at our memorial service on Friday June 5th," Mr Newton said. "But they politely declined. We lost a great many men in the Normandy campaign."

"The Princes are both in full-time military training and Friday is a working day," a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

Buckingham Palace has ruled out the Queen attending next week's official D-Day commemorations in France.

Neither she nor any other member of the Royal family will join the events to mark the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings because they have not been invited, the Palace said.

Instead Prime Minister Gordon Brown will represent the UK alongside British veterans who took part in the 1944 invasion that helped defeat Hitler's Germany.

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