The Foreign Office was accused today of putting the Queen in the position of having to dine with despots as the row over a royal lunch with foreign monarchs intensified.
Denis MacShane, a former Foreign Office minister, criticised the guest list for apparently including the King of Bahrain, Hamad Al-Khalifa - whose regime brutally suppressed pro-democracy protests last year.
The Labour MP said many would regret Foreign Secretary William Hague's decision to approve the inclusion of the Middle East ruler.
His comments come after it emerged Queen Sophia of Spain was ordered by her government to turn down an invitation to the lunch.
The last minute snub was in response to a reported trip the Earl of Wessex will make to Gibraltar, a UK overseas territory which Spain wants returned to its sovereignty.
Twice baked souffle, line caught sea bass and Duchy of Cornwall veg on the menu for monarchs at sovereign dinner at Buckingham Palace
The Queen is holding a lunch for monarchs from around the world celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, but some of her guests are raising eyebrows
Queen Sophia of Spain will not be attending Friday's Diamond Jubilee lunch after being ordered by her government to reject the invite.