News and views on the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton
Royal “guess” list sets tongues wagging
For royal wedding guest list, read guess list.
Palace officials refuse to say exactly who has been invited to the big occasion on April 29, but that has not prevented royal pundits from filling their alloted column inches with creative conjecture, and then another army of commentators pitching in with what they think about those believed to be attending.
If you want to be on-message, then the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton are not about celebrity, but more a reflection of a surprisingly ordinary young couple. Well, if it is normal, that is, to count among your friends the likes of David and Victoria Beckham, who are expected to attend.
Predictably the Beckhams have made headlines, and, in one particularly shrill column, are used as evidence to prove that Kate and William, and the royals in general, are slaves to celebrity culture and “cheapening the House of Windsor”.
I guess it depends on what you want the royals to be. Aloof, distant, other-wordly examples to us all, or more a reflection of society? Celebrities have long taken over from the royals as people’s escape from the daily grind, so it seems hardly surprising that the two worlds will meet within the crowd of 1,900 guests. William’s late mother Diana was a celebrity before she was a royal, as the nature of her untimely death underlined. Further “evidence” of how modern the young couple are is the likely appearance of old flames at the wedding, or so the Guardian newspaper says.
The vast majority of invitees/non-invitees will likely be entirely predictable, but a handful have got tongues wagging. Sarah Ferguson, ex-wife of Prince Andrew who was herself married at Westminster Abbey in 1986, failed to make the cut, we are told, as did the Obamas, although there appear to be perfectly good royal etiquette reasons for that. And among the members of 40 foreign invited royals is the King of Bahrain, a decision criticised by some media and the Republican campaign group as the island kingdom witnesses protests and bloodshed during its worst unrest for years.
Whoever is or it not at the wedding, it is clear that the royal family will come in for some criticism, although the British people generally seems to be in favour of the wedding and the monarchy more broadly. If I were them, I would stop reading newspapers and try and enjoy the day.
In fact, the thing that struck me most when I read about the invitation list was how two people in their 20s could possibly know 1,900 people, or even the 1,000 guests which the bride and groom were allowed to ask themselves. I may not be the world’s most social person, but I would struggle to fill a black cab to Westminster Abbey with my close friends.