“This time, Lordy, I even got invited to have tea with Kate but I couldn’t even go,” Parton, 77, said during a recent appearance on BBC Radio 2. “I thought it was very sweet and nice of her to invite me and one of these days I’m going to get to do that — that would be great.”
Parton jokingly added: “But she wasn’t going to promote my rock album so I had to say no.”
In the past, Kate, 41, has had tea with several A-List stars, including Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and others. While Parton was appreciative of Kate’s royal invitation the musician admitted she didn’t have the time to explore while she was there.
“I love the people, the feel of London,” she gushed. “I don’t unfortunately [get time to sightsee]. I have in the past, me and my band, in a tour bus when we have it planned.”
Kate’s invite for afternoon tea wasn’t the first time Parton had crossed paths with members of the royal family. In 1977, Parton performed at the Silver Jubilee for the late Queen Elizabeth II. (Elizabeth died at age 96 in September 2022 after ruling England for 70 years.)
“I was scared to death that I was not going to know how to curtsy, that I wasn’t going to bend right, but [the queen] was just very warm, very sweet, and I could tell she was a very giving person,” Parton recalled meeting the late monarch in an interview with Insider in February. “And just meeting the queen of England, just to meet a queen, it was amazing.”
Following the queen’s passing, Parton was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in December 2022. Earlier that year, Parton attempted to remove herself from consideration of the honor after feeling she hadn’t “earned that right.” Despite not feeling worthy of the accomplishment, Parton confessed the honor “inspired” her to do a rock album “at some point in the future” — which was something she always dreamed of doing.
In May, Parton followed through on her aspirations and announced she would be releasing her very own rock album in November.
“I’m so excited to finally present my first Rock and Roll album, Rockstar,” Parton shared in a statement on her website at the time. “I am very honored and privileged to have worked with some of the greatest iconic singers and musicians of all time, and to be able to sing all the iconic songs throughout the album was a joy beyond measure. I hope everybody enjoys the album as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together.”