“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. Her Majesty’s Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by The Royal Household,” a Kensington Palace spokesman said Tuesday.
While Harry and Markle have become close to the couple (these photos of BFFs Harry and Mrs. Obama are proof), their guest list is being reserved for longstanding friends they have known for years.
Even though the Obamas won’t be at their wedding, the royals have plans to visit with the Obamas in the near future.
“Both the couples look forward to seeing each other soon,” adds a royal source.
Harry has become close to Mrs. Obama in recent years through their mutual work on behalf of veterans. Barack Obama also supported Harry’s Invictus Games in Toronto last September.
The absence of dignitaries at the wedding also means President Donald Trump and senior British politicians will not be invited.
“Those in attendance will be people who one or both of the couple has a existing direct relationship with,” a royal source said.
Whereas royal heir Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011 had world leaders and dignitaries in attendance, a similar list of prominent guests is “not required” for Harry, who is currently fifth in line to the throne (and soon to be sixth with the birth of William and Kate’s third child later this month). If there are senior members of other royal families invited to the wedding, it will be because Harry has a close relationship with them.
Insiders also note that William and Kate wed in the grand Westminster Abbey in front of about 1,900 invitees, but Harry and Markle’s venue at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle is much smaller and will have around 600 guests. “It will still be a royal wedding and an important occasion,” the royal source said.
The palace also released the names of some of the lucky 1,200 members of the public who have been invited from around the U.K. to the grounds of Windsor Castle for an up-close view. The special guests were chosen from “young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities,” the palace said in a statement.
An additional 200 guests will come from charities linked with Markle and Harry, including WellChild for seriously ill kids, and the Invictus Games for sick and injured veterans and serving military members. There will also be 100 children from two local schools — the Royal School, situated in the Great Park of Windsor, and St. George’s School, below the castle.