Princess Royal rejects TUC Congress invite

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The Princess Royal has rejected an invitation to become the first member of the Royal Family to address the TUC Congress. The Princess was advised that an appearance at this year's conference in Blackpool might be seen as an endorsement of the labour movement ahead of the general election. She was asked to speak in her capacity as head of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, but union leaders also believed her appearance would enhance the movement's national standing. The decision comes amid mounting sensitivity in the Royal Family over any hint that members may be favouring one of the political parties.

Dr George Carey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has accepted an invitation to speak at next year's Congress as part of union leaders' policy to attract well-known figures outside the union movement.