Daily Archives: Apr 12, 2018

LONDON — After months of speculation about whether the Obamas or the Trumps would be invited to the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle next month the answer is finally in: neither.

Neatly sidestepping the issue, Kensington Palace released an opaque statement Tuesday saying that no politicians would be invited to the May 19 wedding at Windsor Castle, not even Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain.

“It has been decided that an official list of political leaders — both U.K. and international — is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s wedding,” Kensington Palace said in a statement. “Her Majesty’s Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by The Royal Household.”

The lack of “an official list” was interpreted by royals watchers to mean that no invitations would be issued to political leaders.

In deciding to limit the attendees to close friends and family, the couple were characteristically keeping things low key and breaking with a long tradition of grand British royal weddings attended by world leaders and politicians.

The question of the Obamas versus the Trumps was always a difficult one. It was widely believed that the Obamas had the inside track, after Prince Harry and Mr. Obama forged a friendship while attending the Invictus Games in Toronto last year.

During the event, Prince Harry interviewed the former president for BBC Radio 4’s flagship program, “Today,” in Mr. Obama’s first international interview after leaving office.

Yet, British newspapers reported in December that the royal couple was under great diplomatic pressure to invite President Trump and the first lady, despite Ms. Markle being a vocal critic of Mr. Trump. Downing Street is eager to maintain good relations with the White House, with an eye to negotiating a bilateral trade agreement as quickly as possible after Britain leaves the European Union.

A Palace source, speaking on the condition of anonymity following protocol, said Prince Harry and Ms. Markle hoped to see the Obamas soon, but confirmed that they would not be attending the wedding.

The Palace source said that 600 guests would be invited to the wedding ceremony, based on the size of St. George’s Chapel, and said that it is not necessary for the royal couple to invite world leaders and politicians to their wedding because Prince Harry is not a direct heir to the throne.

He is fifth in line after his father, Prince Charles, his brother, Prince William, and his brother’s children.

Some world leaders may still be invited to the wedding based on their personal relationship with the royal couple and not in their official capacity, the Palace source added.

Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have also invited 1,200 members of the public to Windsor Castle to celebrate their marriage. On Monday they asked people to donate to charities instead of sending them wedding gifts.

“The couple have chosen charities which represent a range of issues that they are passionate about, including sport for social change, women’s empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV and the Armed Forces,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.

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