Belfast Telegraph

Robinson: Illness means Iris can't attend royal wedding

By Liam Clarke

Iris Robinson will not be attending the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey.

Yesterday First Minister Peter Robinson confirmed that his wife had been sent one of the coveted gold embossed invitations for the April 29 wedding.

She would have liked to accompany him to the ceremony, but they had since agreed that she would not be well enough to go.

“Iris was invited but we don’t think that her health is up to it as yet,” he said, adding: “She would have loved to have gone, but now I will be attending on my own.”

The First Minister’s brief statement to the Belfast Telegraph ends speculation about his wife’s intentions. Speculation has been rife ever since the invitations were issued last month.

Invitations are issued to carefully selected individuals and are not on a ‘plus one’ basis. For instance, Willie Hay, the speaker of the Assembly, was invited but his wife was not included.

Mr Robinson was invited in his official capacity as First Minister and his wife was given a separate invitation.

They are amongst 1,929, people on the guest list, the majority of whom are friends of the royal couple.

The fact that Mrs Robinson was invited shows that she initially considered attending. The Royal Household makes careful checks to see if invitations are likely to be accepted or would cause offence.

For example, no invitation was sent to Martin McGuinness, the Deputy First Minister, who, as a republican, does not attend royal events.

Mrs Robinson is an enthusiastic royalist but has been suffering from depression since the end of 2009. She attempted suicide in September of that year after an affair she had been having with Kirk McCambley, a young businessman, came to light.

Background

Last month the Public Prosecution Service announced that former DUP MP Iris Robinson (right) will not face charges over her role in helping her ex-lover, Kirk McCambley, set up a business. Last year it was revealed that she was having an affair with Mr McCambley, and had asked property developers for £50,000 to help him set up a café.

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