Mixed with the excitement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle being married on May 19, 2018, is the worry that the guest list will escalate stateside tensions between the current and former Presidential administrations.
Reports from The Sun indicate that the royal couple has made it known that they would like to invite former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, as well as their children, but not Donald Trump or his family to the event.
A senior government source told The Sun, “Harry has made it clear he wants the Obamas at the wedding, so it’s causing a lot of nervousness.
“Trump could react very badly if the Obamas get to a Royal wedding before he has had a chance to meet the Queen. Conversations are ongoing about and ministers will eventually have to decide. If the PM lays down the law, Harry will just have to suck it up,” the source added.
Government aides are reportedly attempting to talk the Prince out of opting for one of the American families over the other — despite what appears to be a more obvious relationship having been established between the Royal Family and the former First Family.
The Obamas were hosted by Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton at a dinner last year, where they also met Prince George. It was just one of their many visits to the Kensington Palace in London.
Harry has worked with Michelle on several initiatives, including the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando. Those mutual interests were still forward-facing as earlier this year when Barack and former Vice President Joe Biden attended a basketball game at the Invictus Games in Toronto, where they sat next to Harry.
Harry traveled to attend the Obama Foundation Summit in October and has also interviewed Barack for BBC Radio 4’s Today, which he guest edits.
Markle was critical of Trump during his campaign and Harry has been mostly quiet since the election on the subject, whereas Trump is very vocal on social media.
The wedding will not be considered a state occasion, which means that the Government will only have a consultative role in the guest list and that heads of state will not be invited. The list of attendees will be created by Buckingham Palace and not the Department of Culture, Media, and Sport.
It is a difference in practice, even from the 2011 wedding between Prince William and Kate, which was attended by many other heads of state. At that time, the Obamas were not invited to that event either, which could create precedent for the royals to leave the Trump family off the list for next year.