Dolly Parton explains why she turned down a tea invite from Kate Middleton: 'I felt so bad'

Split: left, Dolly Parton wears a red jacket with red roses designed on it as she performs onstage; left, Kate Middleton
Dolly Parton, left, says she recently passed on a tea date with Kate Middleton. (Jack Plunkett / Invision / Associated Press; Victoria Jones / Associated Press)

Occasionally, a queen simply has no time to deal with the matters of a princess.

Country music queen Dolly Parton says she had to turn down a tea date with the Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, during a recent trip to England.

Parton spoke with BBC Radio 2 over the weekend about her most recent journey to the British Isles.

"This time, lordy, I even got invited to have tea with Kate," Parton said. "And I felt so bad ― I couldn’t even go! They had all this stuff set up. But I thought it was very sweet and nice of her to invite me to tea. And one of these days I’m going to get to do that — that would be great"

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The "I Will Always Love You" artist then joked about the real reason she had to skip the pair's tea date.

"She wasn’t going to promote my rock album so I had to say no," she said.

The 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee is releasing her first full rock album, "Rockstar," in November. The LP will contain the singer's cover of the Beatles' 1970 hit "Let It Be." Other artists that will be featured on Parton's album include Debbie Harry, Elton John, Steven Tyler, Kid Rock, Joan Jett and Lizzo.

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The 77-year-old singer told BBC 2 that she has great admiration for the city on the River Thames.

"I love the people, the feel of London," Parton said, adding that she "unfortunately" didn't get to see the sights this time around. "I have in the past, me and my band, in a tour bus when we have it planned."

Parton is no stranger to rubbing shoulders with British royalty. The "Jolene" musician performed at Queen Elizabeth II's silver jubilee in 1977.

"I was scared to death that I was not going to know how to curtsy, that I wasn't going to bend right, but she was just very warm, very sweet, and I could tell she was a very giving person," she told Insider. "And just meeting the queen of England, just to meet a queen, it was amazing."

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The country legend added, "When they told me on the plane I was appearing in front of the queen, I just jumped up and down telling everyone. It's just one of the biggest thrills of my life."

After the British monarch's death last year, Parton paid tribute to her in an Instagram post that featured a photo of the Tennessea singer-songwriter meeting the queen.

"She carried herself with grace and strength her entire life," Parton wrote. "May she rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time."

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.