The Reason Why Prince Harry Might Not Invite the Obamas to His Wedding
The British government is reportedly concerned that President Donald Trump will be offended if he is not invited to Harry and Meghan’s wedding and former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are.
According to The Sun, Harry and Meghan have told government aides that they’d like to invite the former first couple to their May 19 nuptials. But this desire reportedly has the U.K. government nervous that Trump will be displeased that if his predecessor snags an invite and he does not—especially before he’s even had a chance to meet Queen Elizabeth herself.
“Harry has made it clear he wants the Obamas at the wedding, so it’s causing a lot of nervousness,” a source told The Sun. “Trump could react very badly if the Obamas get to a Royal wedding before he has had a chance to meet the Queen.”
Government aides are reportedly encouraging Harry not to invite the Obamas for fear of Trump’s reaction.
Harry has a close friendship with the Obamas that began while they were in the White House and has lasted after the end of Obama’s presidency. The Obamas were hosted by Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton for dinner at Kensington Palace last year (they even got to Prince George!), just one of their many visits to the royals’s London home.
He’s worked with Michelle on several initiatives, including the 2016 Invictus Games in Orlando. And earlier this year, Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden attended a basketball game at the Invictus Games in Toronto, where they sat front row next to Harry. Most recently, Harry traveled to the Obama’s home city of Chicago for the Obama Foundation Summit in October. On the occasion of his engagement to Meghan, the Obamas released a sweet statement of congratulations.
Harry and Meghan’s wedding will not be a state occasion or a bank holiday, which means that there will be less foreign dignitaries and heads of state present than there were at William and Kate’s 2011 wedding. (And even then, Obama, who was the sitting U.S. president at the time of their wedding, was not invited, so an invite for Trump wouldn’t exactly be standard protocol.) The guest list is being crafted by Buckingham Palace, rather than the governmental Department of Culture, Media and Sport who would lead the charge on a state event.
However, it’s not just that Trump likely won’t be invited to the wedding and the Obamas will. Nearly a year into office, and Trump has yet to make a state visit to the United Kingdom and meet the Queen. Originally, he was set to visit the U.K. for a full state visit, including a meeting with the Queen, in late 2017.
But the visit was pushed to 2018 in July and later dropped to a “working trip” that would not contain a meeting with the monarch. And after Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos from a British far-right group, Britain First. Members of parliament on both sides of the aisle, including Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the videos and Trump’s tweeting of them. Some members of Parliament even called to cancel the visit altogether, according to the New York Times.