Camilla Won't Attend Diana's Memorial Service

Camilla Won't Attend Diana's Memorial Service
Camilla Parker Bowles
AH/Xposure/starmax

updated 08/26/2007 at 08:30 PM EDT

originally published 08/26/2007 08:30PM

Prince Charles's wife Camilla has pulled out of attending Friday's memorial service for Princess Diana, Clarence House said Sunday.

Princes William and Harry – who will lead the service, marking the 10-year anniversary of her death – had invited Camilla, and she had initially accepted.

But on Sunday – as columns in British newspapers urged her not to attend the service at Guards' Chapel – the Duchess of Cornwall decided not to go.

"I'm very touched to have been invited by Prince William and Prince Harry to attend the thanksgiving service for their mother Diana, Princess of Wales," Camilla said in a statement explaining her decision.

"I accepted and wanted to support them, however, on reflection I believe my attendance could divert attention from the purpose of the occasion which is to focus on the life and service of Diana," she said, adding: "I'm grateful to my husband, William and Harry for supporting my decision."

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Diana's friend Rosa Monckton suggested Camilla should not attend, saying that she thought her presence would be "deeply inappropriate," and that Diana herself would have been "astonished."

The Queen and Prince Philip will attend the service, along with Diana's brother Charles Spencer and her sisters Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale. The chapel seats 472, and among those who have made the cut: Representatives of charities Diana was involved with, Dodi al Fayed's sisters Camilla and Jasmine, and Diana's friends Elton John (who performed both at her funeral and her memorial concert in July) and Mario Testino.

See photos from PEOPLE.com's complete Diana Remembered package

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