Did you get your Royal Wedding invitation yet? No, me either. But then again neither did President Obama and his wife. Never mind, we will probably get the best seats watching the whole ceremony and the preparations for it on our TV screens anyway. However, we do know some of the people who will be attending to rub shoulders with Prince William and Kate Middleton on their big day.
St James’s Palace has released the list of confirmed guests for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, this Friday April 29. Singer Elton John is confirmed, with his partner David Furnish, as are David and Victoria Beckham.
Sporting stars set to attend the Royal wedding of the decade including Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe and showbiz figures such as “Mr Bean” actor Rowan Atkinson. They will sit side by side with veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The seating plan for the service in London’s historic Westminster Abbey is now known, with Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip and other senior royals in the front row together with Kate’s family on the other side of the aisle.
More than forty members of foreign royal families are to attend, including Prince Albert of Monaco. He will soon be attending his own July 1 wedding to South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock.
Several heads of state will also attend, which has sparked controversy. Leaders of countries such as Bahrain and Swaziland with questionable human rights records will be there, which has aroused suspicions of Prince William’s supposed humanitarian credentials. Presumably, William and Kate Middleton will have had to approve the guest list for their wedding.
Much less controversial is the inclusion on the guest list of Elton John. He was one of the favorite artists and a close personal friend of Prince William’s late mother, Diana. He sang a specially modified version of the hit “Candle in the Wind” at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, also at Westminster Abbey.
Prince William met footballer David Beckham, who will attend the service with his ex-pop star and now fashion designer wife Victoria, during England’s failed bid to host the 2018 World Cup.
The names of only a few of the 1,900 wedding guests have been released, but another scandal was sparked as former Conservative Prime Ministers John Major and Margaret Thatcher were invited, yet former Labour Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were not. The explanation given is that it is nothing to do with politics. It is simply that Thatcher and Major are members of the Order of the Garter, Britain’s highest honor.
Two billion people, including me, are expected to watch the wedding on TV sets around the world. I will bring you all the updates as they happen this week.