Page last updated at 02:04 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 03:04 UK

Obama wants Queen at D-Day event

Queen at RAF Cranwell, 28 May 2009
The French government has denied snubbing the Queen

US President Barack Obama is trying to secure an invitation for the Queen to attend the official D-Day commemorations in France on Saturday.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said: "We are working with those involved to see that it happens."

Mr Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown will mark the 65th anniversary of the Normandy landings alongside the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen will not attend as she has not been invited.

Neither the Queen nor any other member of the Royal Family has received an invitation to the commemorations.

White House press secretary on trying to get the Queen an invitation

Mr Brown will represent the UK alongside British veterans who took part in the 1944 invasion that helped to defeat Hitler's Germany.

'Content'

A Downing Street spokesman said: "While we welcome the White House's intentions to be helpful, we are not aware of any involvement from the US administration on this issue.

"As the palace have said, they are content with the current arrangements and as the Prime Minister said... should the Queen or any other member of the Royal Family wish to attend we would of course do everything possible to make that happen."

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the Royal Family was satisfied with the arrangements as they stood.

She said: "Neither the Queen nor any other members of the Royal Family will be attending the D-Day commemorations on 6 June as we have not received an official invitation to any of these events."

"We would like to reiterate that we have never expressed any sense of anger or frustration at all, and are content with all the arrangements that are planned."

The BBC's Washington correspondent, Adam Brookes, said the White House "is clearly aware that this is a delicate situation."

He said it was hard to know whether quiet pressure from the Americans could convince the French that the Queen should attend and that her presence would not detract from that of Mr Obama himself.

The French government has insisted that the Queen is welcome to participate in the events. It blamed the British government for deciding who should attend what it said was "primarily a Franco-American ceremony".

French government spokesman Luc Chatel said: "It is not up to France to determine the British representation."

On Sunday Gordon Brown said the event was intended for prime ministers and presidents, rather than royals.

Hundreds of British veterans will hold their main memorial event at the Arromanches landing beaches, where thousands of troops came ashore on 6 June 1944, and during the following days.

There will also be a Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance at Bayeux Cathedral.

The Normandy landings saw thousands of Allied troops pour on to the beaches of occupied France and marked a strategic turning point in the war against Nazi Germany.

For the 60th anniversary of the invasion in 2004, the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales all attended commemoration events in France.



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SEE ALSO
Queen hears chimes on D-Day visit
30 Apr 09 |  Hampshire
Call to 'respect' the term D-Day
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