Prince Charles has been snubbed by Pope Benedict who reportedly turned down an invitation to meet the king-in-waiting on his first state visit to Britain in September, claiming he's "too busy".
Charles, who will be in Scotland when the Pontiff starts his three-day trip by calling on the Queen and Prince Philip at Holyrood House in Edinburgh, wanted to meet the Pope separately in Edinburgh on the same day, but at another venue "to establish his independence" from the Monarch.
But, the Pope has declined to meet the king-in-waiting separately, the Daily Mail reported.
Now, Charles will remain at Birkhall, the house he shares with Camilla on the Balmoral estate, while his parents make a 100-mile trip from the Royal Family's summer retreat to meet the Pope at Holyrood on September 16.
However, the Prince's official spokesman has denied he was snubbed. "There were discussions between the Vatican and Clarence House about possibility of having a separate meeting while the Pope was in Edinburgh, but there wasn't time in his schedule for that," he said.
Asked why the Prince could not join the Queen and Prince Philip at Holyrood for the Pope's Royal welcome, the spokesman said, "That is an event, not a meeting."
The spokesman also denied that the Prince had rejected a subsequent invitation by the Pope to join him at an inter-faith event in London the following day.
According to the newspaper, the Pope has offered it as an alternative to a one-to-one meeting with Prince Charles and that the Prince rejected it on the grounds that it did not match his status.
But the Prince's spokesman insisted that he had not been invited to the interfaith event at St Mary's University, a Catholic teaching training college, in London.