“When they realised the lockdown was going ahead, the main concern was sticking to their contractual obligations to get the wedding done for the [Crikey! It’s the Irwins!] producers,” says our insider. “There was a lot at stake with televised promotions and memorabilia to sell so there wasn’t a lot of time to tell guests.”
Bindi told WHO magazine: “We had been planning for almost a year. But as soon as [COVID-19] all started happening, we had to look at different options to make sure everyone was safe.”
However, having never received an invitation to the original do, with the likes of Russell Crowe and Magda Szubanski all making the cut, it seems ‘Grandpa Bob’ wasn’t in the running for the narrowed-down guest list either, which included Bindi’s mother Terri and brother Robert.
“There have been so many disagreements with them all over the years,” says the source. “It’s very sad that they couldn’t put those differences behind them for a wedding. Bob would have been so proud to have been there and witnessed the vows, and the beautiful tribute to his son Steve that he has since learned was incorporated into the ceremony.”
The bitter Irwin feud dates back more than 10 years. And while other family members have remained tight-lipped, initially due to signing non-disclosure agreements when they left employment at the zoo, and later out of respect for Bob, the conservationist has previously admitted he has watched proudly from afar at both Bindi and Robert’s achievements.
Bob has said he wishes Bindi the best, even admitting to writing a heartfelt letter to her after her engagement announcement, and still holds no malice towards the family for the lack of response.
“He reached out to his granddaughter and her new husband and wished them well, congratulating them on their happy news,” says the source. “It was an olive branch of sorts, hoping to put everything behind them and become a family again.”
But despite his gesture, Bob is still estranged from the late Crocodile Hunter’s family.
As fans around the world tune in to watch the intimate ceremony, which will air in Australia in July, close friends say this latest snub has left Bob heartbroken. “It’s just awful,” they say. “Bob is in his 80s now. He really did hold out hope that this may reunite them as a family. He is so upset by the way everything has turned out.
“He will just watch the wedding on TV like everyone else now. It’s unforgivable,” he said.
For more, pick up the latest issue of New Idea. Out now!