Charlotte rejects an audience with the Queen

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THE WELSH singing prodigy Charlotte Church has turned down invitations from the Pope, the Queen and President Clinton to sing to them on New Year's Eve, preferring to see in the new millennium at home with her family.

Neither John Paul II, the Queen or Bill Clinton had the power to lure 13-year-old Church away from a celebration with her parents and grandparents. She has met all three of them before, but this time has opted to go with her family to a concert in Cardiff by her favourite band, the Manic Street Preachers.

"I decided to spend Christmas and the millennium with my family. So I said `No' - in the nicest possible way," said Church, whose first two albums catapulted her from being an unknown chorister to one of the best- selling singers in the world.

Church's New Year's Eve invitations included singing with Placido Domingo in the Vatican, performing John Taviner's work in the Millennium Dome in London just before midnight, and participating in a concert attended by President Clinton at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington.

Church's manager, Jonathan Shalit, said: "She has had invitations to Malaysian islands, to millionaires' paradises, but she has decided to stay at home in Cardiff.

"She loves her grandparents, or her Nan and Bampa as she calls them, more than anyone in the world and spends much of her time at their house. She knows she has had some amazing invitations but, at the end of the day, she is a 13-year-old. These things have huge significance for adults, but not for her."

Church's debut album, Voice Of An Angel, went double platinum in Britain and platinum in the US when it came out last autumn. Last month she sang in a television advertisement for Ford that was seen by an estimated one billion people. Her new single, "Just Wave Hello", is out on 13 December.