King Charles is said to have apologised to friends and family after they failed to receive invitations to his Coronation. The latest confirmed to have been excluded is Lady Pamela Hicks, who is one of only two surviving bridesmaids from Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s wedding in 1947. Lady Pamela – whose father, the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma was Prince Philip’s uncle – attended the Queen’s funeral in a wheelchair last September. Afterwards, her daughter, India, said her mother hoped to be one of the few people to have attended three coronations. Today, Lady Pamela’s 94th birthday, she received a telephone call from a secretary at Buckingham Palace, informing her that she had not been invited to the Coronation, to be held at Westminster Abbey next month. ‘One of the King’s personal secretaries was passing on a message from the King,’ India Hicks said. ‘The King was sending his great love and apologies, he was offending many family and friends with the reduced [guest] list.’ The palace official ‘explained that this Coronation was to be very different to the Queen’s’ in 1953, when thousands more squeezed into the Abbey. ‘Eight thousand guests would be whittled down to 1,000, alleviating the burden on the state.’ India, who is a goddaughter of King Charles and was a bridesmaid when he married Lady Diana Spencer, insists: ‘My mother was not offended at all. ”How very, very sensible,’ she said. Invitations based on meritocracy not aristocracy. ‘I am going to follow with great interest the events of this new reign’.’ After Lady Pamela, whose father was assassinated by the IRA in 1979, attended the funeral of her close friend Queen Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey, India said: ‘She might be the only living person to attend three Coronations.’ Lady Pamela was eight when she was taken to see George VI being crowned in 1937. King Charles’s apparent desire to make his Coronation ‘meritocratic not aristocratic’ has caused anguish in the upper echelons of society. On Saturday, the Duke of Rutland voiced his surprise and bafflement that he and most of his fellow dukes had not received invitations. The Duke, whose father attended two coronations, told the Daily Mail’s Eden Confidential column: ‘I have not been asked.’ He said he did ‘not really understand’ why, adding: ‘It has been families like mine that have supported the Royal Family over 1,000 years or thereabouts.’ Financier Ben Goldsmith, whose family have been close to the royals for decades, warned that the King was in danger of giving in to ‘drips and dullards’ by ‘watering down’ his Coronation. ‘No amount of watering down will ever be enough for the drips and dullards who really want this kind of thing abolished altogether,’ said the financier, whose sister, Jemima, was one of Princess Diana’s best friends. ‘They represent a small, chippy minority who, for now, can be easily ignored. For the rest of us who enjoy the beauty of these ancient ceremonies, go big or go home.’ Goldsmith added: ‘Apparently, peers have been told they aren’t allowed to wear their coronation robes at the Coronation next month. Some, including our local one here, the Duke of Somerset, haven’t been invited at all. ‘I really hope it won’t end up being a watered-down affair. Britain does these kinds of celebrations so well, and they matter to a huge number of people, not just here but around the world.’ At Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation, the senior peer of each ‘degree’ – the duke, marquess, earl, viscount and baron with the oldest titles – ‘paid homage’ to the new monarch. And Goldsmith believes it’s a mistake for the King to try to downplay such traditions. ‘There is an ugly kind of self-hatred in calls for the watering down or eradication of the ones which are unique to our society,’ said the son of late tycoon Sir James Goldsmith and Lady Annabel, a marquess’s daughter. ‘Thankfully, it’s only a small, slightly depressing minority, for the time being. Fingers crossed they are completely ignored.’ The other surviving bridesmaid from the Queen’s wedding is the 86-year-old Princess Alexandra of Kent – who was Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin and daughter of Prince George, Duke of Kent. Princess Alexandra is a working member of the Royal Family so will have been invited and will be on the Buckingham Palace balcony after the coronation ceremony. But Lady Pamela’s lack of invitation to the coronation reflects attempts by Charles to pursue a pared-back service amid his plans for a slimmed-down modern monarchy. Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York has also not been invited to the Coronation – but is expected to attend the concert at Windsor Castle one day later. Buckingham Palace announced last week that Prince Harry will attend the Coronation alone, with his wife Meghan choosing to remain in California with Prince Archie – who turns four that day – and Princess Lilibet, one. MailOnline has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment this afternoon.