When Prince William married Kate Middleton on April 29, 2011, neither President Barack Obama nor his wife, Michelle Obama was invited. What was the reason for not inviting the then President of the United States? And why did Nancy Reagan attend Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s wedding, as well as Prince Andrew’s wedding to Sarah Ferguson?
According to an article published by the Daily Mail back on February 2011, 1,900 guests were invited to the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, but this invitation was not sent to the Obamas.
They explained that the Obamas were not invited to the wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William because of the high cost of security for the President of the United States.
Over 40 heads of state were “personally invited” by the Queen. Those who received the special gold-embossed invitations included Australia, Canada, New Zealand, as well as some of those royal descendants of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert from Denmark, Greece, Norway Spain, and Sweden.
Yet, then French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife were not invited, nor was Prince William’s aunt, Sarah Ferguson. Snubbing the Duchess of York, Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, and Princess Eugenie and Beatrice’s mom later resulted in a tearful episode of Oprah.
Instead, the Obamas were invited to a UK state meeting in May 2011. According to the Guardian, during this visit, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had “their first royal duty as a married couple.”
The Obamas visit to London had been the first visit from an American president since 2003. The special bond between the Obamas and Queen Elizabeth was cemented in this trip.
Previous to this trip, there was never a relationship between Prince William and President Obama, and the Mercury News speculates that this may ultimately be why the Obamas were not invited to Will and Kate’s wedding.
Unlike Prince William, Prince Harry now has a very strong relationship with President Obama because of the Invictus Games.
The last big royal weddings were in the 1980s, and President Reagan was invited to both the wedding of Prince Charles to Diana Spencer and a few years later, to Prince Andrew’s wedding to Sarah Ferguson. Ronald Reagan went to neither, but instead, the First Lady went in his place.
According to the Mercury News, President Ronald Reagan was invited to the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles to Diana Spencer. Instead, President Reagan sent his wife, First Lady Nancy Reagan, in his place.
Prince Charles had previously met the Reagans in both New York and in Washington, DC prior to the wedding, establishing a cordial relationship between the Windsors and the Reagans.
According to the St. Petersburg Independent, the First Lady went to a luncheon at Kensington Palace, where Princess Margaret hosted. There was also a late-night soiree at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Queen Elizabeth, and a polo match with Prince Charles, among other festivities surrounding the royal family on this festive occasion. Mrs. Reagan traveled with her press secretary, Sheila Patton Tate, as well as her hairdresser, Julius Bengtsson.
According to The Sun, a source states that if President Trump is not invited to the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, this could become a “bit of a time-bomb for the diplomatic service.”
Downing Street spoke to the publication and they state that this is “a matter for the royal household.” Yet, could it possible that Harry and Meghan will instead invite Ivanka Trump, someone that Meghan has had a friendly relationship with, as a sort of a compromise?
History has demonstrated that there are no automatic invitations, so royal watchers will be curious to see who is invited and who is snubbed when the wedding invitations are issued sometime in late February, early March.