UPDATE February 20, 2011. The British press reports that Sarah Ferguson WAS NOT invited to the wedding. Read about it here [Daily Mail]
The Obamas may not be attending the wedding but they will be making a state visit to Britain in May. It will be Obama’s first state visit to a European country. [AP via Yahoo] When it comes right down to it, the President’s entourage, if as large as that during his last visit, would clog London streets and hotels It would not only be too much for British security but would detract from the wedding.
The original ON MY WATCH post read:
Prince William has insisted that Sarah Ferguson attend his wedding to Catherine Middleton. He is mindful that until just before the end of her life, his mother, Princess Diana, and Sarah, the Duchess of York were the best of friends. She is also the mother of his two cousins, Beatrice and Eugenie with whom he his very close as he is with their father, his uncle, Prince Andrew.
There are conflicting reports about why Ferguson’s 6 part series for the new Oprah Winfrey network (OWN). Some reports say Oprah does not think the project has enough of interest in it and has moved it back to a summer showing. Others believe the move has been to avoid any kind of scandal prior to William and Kate’ wedding. [Daily Mail here and the Daily Mail here]
As for the Obamas, sadly there are reported to be off the list at this time (this could change) for a myriad of reasons:
- Other heads of state are better known to the Prince
- Obama did not bow to the Queen, William’s Grandmother, but then went on to Saudi Arabia to bow deeply to the royals there.
- France’s Sarkozy joined Obama in not inviting the Queen to the celebration. She is the only head of state who actually served in the military left.
- It is not a state function.
But the Huffington Post has rightly pointed out excellent reasons why this cannot be an official report.
Since when does the Queen or the palace make that sort of announcement? Whether Obama will be invited or not is one thing, but the palace is certainly not so ungracious as to publicly announce who they’re excluding from the guest list.In fact, the palace typically won’t even say who they have invited, just who have accepted and are expected to attend. This is slightly different than the Swedish royals who released beforehand the list of invites for Crown Princess Victoria’s wedding this past June.
The paper further states that since William’s wedding is not considered a “state occasion,” only a handful of heads of state wbe invited, possibly President Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni. While as much as some of us would like to see Carla make a stylish appearance at Westminster Abbey, I find it hard to believe that the Sarkozys might be on the guest list, but the Obamas are not. After all, the United States is one of Britain’s biggest allies, and the Queen is particularly fond of the down-to-earth Michelle. [HuffPo]