Lady Sarah, 54, and David Linley, the Earl of Snowdon, are the children of Princess Margaret and her first husband, Lord Snowdon. They will attend with Lady Sarah’s husband, Daniel Chatto.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen faced ‘some very difficult’ decisions as she selected the 30 guests permitted under Covid-19 rules, from the original 800-strong congregation, and had tried to ensure all branches of the duke’s family were represented.
The decision to invite David – also known by his professional name of David Linley – Lady Sarah and her husband is an indication of how highly they are regarded within the royal family, and is a tribute to the close relationship the Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed with his sister-in-law Princess Margaret.
The Queen has been described as a ‘surrogate mother’ to the siblings and is particularly close to Lady Sarah, who is understood to remind Her Majesty of her late sister.
The Queen and Prince Philip’s beloved niece and nephew Sarah Chatto and the Earl of Snowdon will join mourners at Philip’s funeral
Earl Snowdon will also be amoung mourners who attend the funeral on Saturday (pictured with Prince Philip)
Daughter of the Queen’s late sister, Princess Margaret, Lady Sarah, is one of the most low-key Royals yet holds a very special place in Her Majesty’s affections. Pictured: The Queen with Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones
One royal insider previously revealed: ‘The Queen adores Sarah and seeks out her company as often as possible. She is her absolute favourite younger Royal.
‘They are hugely at ease in each other’s company. Much giggling can be heard when they are together. They share a sense of loyalty, fun, duty and the ridiculous.’
One acquaintance said: ‘Sarah is very unassuming; shy and almost embarrassed with no grandeur at all. Take royal events — she’ll be on the balcony, but she never pushes herself to the middle or the front, like some.’
David and Lady Sarah enjoyed a close relationship with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and their children growing up – often joining the family on holiday – and remain so to this day.
Certainly their inclusion in the small group of 30 is an indication as to just how close they are.
From the Queen to Mike Tindall: Funeral guest list
- The Queen
- The Prince of Wales
- The Duchess of Cornwall
- The Duke of Cambridge
- The Duchess of Cambridge
- The Duke of Sussex
- The Duke of York
- Princess Beatrice
- Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
- Princess Eugenie
- Jack Brooksbank
- The Earl of Wessex
- The Countess of Wessex
- Lady Louise Windsor
- Viscount Severn
- The Princess Royal
- Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
- Peter Phillips
- Zara Phillips
- Mike Tindall
- Earl of Snowdon
- Lady Sarah Chatto
- Daniel Chatto
- Duke of Gloucester
- Duke of Kent
- Princess Alexandra
- Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden
- Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse
- Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
- The Countess Mountbatten of Burma
The trio will join the Queen and Philip’s four children and eight grandchildren and their respective spouses at the service in St George’s Chapel on Saturday.
These include Jack Brooksbank, the husband of Eugenie, daughter of the duchess and the Duke of York, and Beatrice’s husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
The 67-year-old Countess of Mountbatten – Penelope ‘Penny’ Knatchbull, previously known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne – was also invited.
Three German relatives – whose ancestors were denied a place at Princess Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding because of anti-German feeling after the second war – have been included.
Others on the guest list include the Queen’s first cousins Princess Alexandra, the Duke of Gloucester and the Duke of Kent, who loyally supported the monarch and Philip by carrying out royal duties over the decades.
But the most prominent name missing from the list is Prince Harry’s wife Meghan, who has stayed at home in Los Angeles.
Also is missing is the Queen’s cousin, Prince Michael of Kent, 78, who is not a working royal.
There was also not room for the spouses of the Queen’s cousins – the Duchess of Gloucester and the Duchess of Kent, nor Prince Michael’s often controversial wife, Princess Michael of Kent.
However Lady Sarah’s husband made the cut.
Lady Sarah remains close to her cousin, Prince Charles.
The pair can still be found sketching and doing water colours on the Balmoral estate, chatting easily or ‘hunched over their easels in harmonious silence, as they have been for years’.
She was a bridesmaid to Diana at her wedding, and the pair — who had just a three-year age gap between them — had been friendly even before Diana’s engagement.
Sarah is a devoted mother to her and Daniel’s two handsome, charismatic sons: Samuel, 24, Charles’s godson, and has been a Page of Honour to the Queen, and Arthur, 22.
Linley, married Serena Stanhope, daughter of the 12th Earl of Harrington, in 1993, and they have two children, Charles, 21, and Margarita, 18. The couple divorced last year.
It was when Lady Sarah met Daniel Chatto whilst working as a wardrobe assistant on ‘Heat and Dust’, in which dashing actor Chatto had a small role, that her love life became serious (the couple are pictured here on their wedding day on July 14 1994)
Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon and David Armstrong-Jones at the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition dinner, V&A Museum, in London on January 29 2019
David, who inherited the title Earl of Snowdon on the death of his father in January 2017, is known as the ‘royal carpenter’ because of his high-end furniture business, Linley.
As with their cousins, David and Lady Sarah’s children will not attend the funeral, but they would no doubt have been included in a larger congregation.
Full details of Prince Philip’s funeral which he planned himself were revealed today, including that the Queen will travel in the cortege this Saturday in a state Bentley, and Harry will not walk side by side with William.
The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, who will be reunited for the first time since Harry’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey chat, will be separated by cousin Peter Phillips as they walk in a line behind their grandfather’s coffin.
When the coffin is taken into the chapel, William will move ahead of his brother as the royal family arrives in pairs. Officials confirmed royal men will wear morning coats with their medals and the women will wear day dresses.
David, Lady Sarah and Daniel will be among the members of the Royal Family who travel to St George’s Chapel by car.
Who are the Queen’s niece and nephew Lady Sarah Chatto and David Armstrong-Jones?
Lady Sarah Chatto was born in 1964 — the last royal baby born at a palace rather than a hospital — within weeks of cousins Prince Edward, Lady Helen Windsor and James Ogilvy.
At the time, her parents, Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon, were the toast of swinging London, their Kensington Palace apartment — now the London home of William and Catherine — the scene of hedonistic parties.
But the marriage, a rebound affair after Margaret was forbidden to marry divorced equerry Peter Townsend, was notoriously tempestuous.
Perhaps the only Royal to arrive at Buckingham Palace by foot — and use public transport — Lady Sarah Chatto is the antithesis of the puffed-up minor Royal
‘With no agenda, no particular ambitions or feeling of being slighted, Sarah has been happy to take a back seat in royal position jostling,’ says one royal insider. Pictured: Lady Sarah attends a Sunday church service at Windsor Castle to mark Prince Philip’s 90th birthday
Fuelled by alcohol and affairs on both sides, their 18-year union was once described as a 16-year break-up.
At just 13, her parents’ divorce was ‘terribly upsetting’ for Sarah.
As Margaret was granted custody, the children stayed in Kensington Palace. Sarah was sent to Francis Holland School in Chelsea, a smart all-girls’ day school, followed by Bedales with her brother.
The mixed boarding school in rural Hampshire — alma mater of actors Daniel Day-Lewis and Minnie Driver — was a fashionable, arty, bohemian choice.
Princess Margaret, who divorced her husband Antony Armstrong-Jones, ended up having two sane, still-married, hard-working children, Sarah and David
It had no uniform and nurtured artistic expression above all else. It was what both parents wanted — and it ensured David and Sarah inherited a love of art.
This ‘progressive’ institution was the polar opposite to the starchiness of a royal upbringing.
One contemporary said that when Lady Sarah turned up ‘she was practically in a velvet-collar coat and tweeds although everyone else was hanging out in their kickers’.
However it was quite possibly this school — with its warm, nurturing atmosphere — that made her the woman she is now.
Sarah had grown up knowing that her mother had little time or patience for babies and small children; despite Snowdon’s reluctance, nannies and housemaids were in charge and the children were instructed never to wake their mother before 11am — a rule that was keenly enforced by Nanny Sumner.
When Margaret gave her house on Mustique island in the Caribbean — Les Jolies Eaux — to David alone on his 27th birthday (he let it out and then sold it, preferring to buy an estate in Provence) it was said that Sarah was not consulted; nor did she profit from the sale.
Her father, however, doted on her and it is from him she is said to have inherited her ‘immense charm’.
From her father she also inherited her artistic eye. A foundation course at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, followed by a printed textiles course at Middlesex Polytechnic, paved the way for her training at the Royal Academy Schools.
Her oil paintings today sell for thousands and she is Vice President of the Royal Drawing School. From her mother, she inherited a love of dance. While Margaret was Patron of the Royal Ballet School, Sarah is its Vice President.
Not that the young Sarah ever felt herself to be above her art school contemporaries.
She may have shared her 21st birthday with Prince Edward, Lady Helen Windsor and James Ogilvy at Windsor Castle, but she also included all of her friends from art school.
The Earl – David Armstrong-Jones – who is known for his high-end furniture company – will also attend the funeral tomorrow (pictured)
It was when she met Daniel Chatto whilst working as a wardrobe assistant on ‘Heat and Dust’, in which dashing actor Chatto had a small role, that her love life became serious.
The son of actor Tom Chatto, and theatrical agent Ros Chatto (who was the mistress of another theatrical agent, Robin Fox), Daniel appeared in around a dozen films and TV programmes, often period dramas based on the novels of W. Somerset Maugham or Charles Dickens.
He soon gave up his acting career, however, to focus on painting, a passion shared with Sarah.
Together he and Sarah set up home in Kensington whilst still unmarried — a fact that enraged Princess Margaret — where they still live in a small, pretty, Grade II listed terrace house.
Pictured left to right, David Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon, Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon, and Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, attend the Alexander Dundas’s 18th birthday party hosted by Lord and Lady Dundas on December 16, 2017 in Londo
They also have a Georgian country farmhouse near Midhurst in Sussex, given to Sarah by her godfather, the late art-loving philanthropist Simon Sainsbury.
The informal country life of dogs, horses and annual sheepdog trials — which she judges — is the essence of Sarah, a royal who has never been lured by pomp and ceremony.
Indeed her wedding to Chatto in July 1994 was such a short, simple affair that chauffeurs were caught by surprise: the Queen, Prince Philip and Diana had to wait at the City church of St Stephen’s Walbrook after the service for their cars to come back.
Her veil was anchored by the Snowdon Floral Tiara, created from brooches given to Princess Margaret by her husband, and the wedding portraits show the newlyweds flanked by the Queen and the Queen Mother.
Although her childhood lacked the stability she has created for her own family — according to royal insiders, she found her mother’s early indiscretions ‘almost unbearable’ — Sarah remained a loving, dutiful daughter until the end.
Her mother’s death in 2002 — after a series of strokes and four years of suffering — saw her children by her side.
Sarah, says a royal source, had been ‘selfless and often left her own family overnight to drive to KP to care for her mother’.
Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon and Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones attend the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor
Margaret’s death also brought the Queen even closer to her only niece, in her new role as something of a surrogate mother. One, it appears, that endures to this day.
Meanwhile David is honorary chairman for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India of auctioneers Christie’s. He was promoted to the role in 2015 from his former role of chairman of Christie’s UK.
The Earl, also known by his professional name of David Linley, also produces luxury British accessories and has reportedly created the interiors for a number of exclusive central London homes.
Linley was picked by Prince Charles, his first cousin, as number two in his The Prince’s Foundation, a new merger of his charity commitments, in 2018 – an appointment which raised eyebrows as he was chosen ahead of the heir to the throne’s sons William and Harry.
Last year a friend said: ‘David is very, very close to the Queen and Prince Charles. He goes to Sandringham at Christmas and turns up at Balmoral in the summer.’