Not many people have to carefully plan their entire weddings in such a way as to avoid causing any potential international political scandals. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle do, though, which means that, sadly, despite Harry and President Barack Obama‘s budding bromance, the former POTUS and FLOTUS will not be invited to the upcoming wedding. The Independent reported on Tuesday that neither the Obamas nor any other global political leaders will be in attendance of the May 19 nuptials.
“It has been decided that an official list of political leaders – both UK 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,” Harry’s spokesperson told The Independent.
As Daily Mail correspondent Rebecca English tweeted, that means “President Obama & his wife, Michelle, will NOT be guests at Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s wedding next month – and nor will Donald Trump. The couple have decided not to invite any political leaders both from the UK & abroad, which means that even [British Prime Minister] Theresa May is uninvited.” In follow-up posts, English wrote that the news had been confirmed by the royal family and that government officials had decided not to encourage Meghan and Harry to turn their wedding into something of a diplomatic event. Though Harry’s older brother, Prince William, also maintained a mostly world leader–free guest list for his own 2011 wedding to Kate Middleton, then Prime Minister David Cameron and a handful of other British politicians were in attendance, according to The Washington Post.
Back in December, Harry was asked by the BBC whether the Obamas would be getting an invitation to his wedding since he spent time with Obama at the 2017 Invictus Games, interviewed him a few months later for the BBC, and visited a Chicago school alongside Michelle last November. At the time, Harry played coy, saying, “We haven’t put the invites or the guest list together yet, so who knows whether he’s going to be invited or not. I wouldn’t want to ruin that surprise.” As The Sun reported this week, though Harry was initially in favor of inviting the Obamas to his wedding, he was less inclined to invite President Donald Trump; sources say that royal officials were worried that such a snub could create an international crisis, and so encouraged Harry to simply cross all heads of state, current and former, off the guest list.
In place of the Obamas, Trumps, and other world leaders at the royal wedding will be hundreds of regular British citizens. The palace announced last month that Harry and Meghan were planning on extending invitations to 1,200 members of the public — mostly young people from diverse backgrounds who have shown strong leadership and served their communities — as well as 100 students from local schools.
Related: Meghan Markle Reportedly Wants Her Mom to Walk Her Down the Aisle