It's a VERY Royal Wedding; 40 Crowned Heads Plus Kings of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Get Royal Invitations; 1,000 of William and Kate's Friends to Attend (but There's No Room for the Obamas)

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), February 20, 2011 | Go to article overview

It's a VERY Royal Wedding; 40 Crowned Heads Plus Kings of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia Get Royal Invitations; 1,000 of William and Kate's Friends to Attend (but There's No Room for the Obamas)


Byline: Katie Nicholl ROYAL CORRESPONDENT

THE gold-embossed invitations to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton finally landed on doormats around the world this weekend after the couple spent weeks agonising over the guest list.

Close to 1,900 guests have been invited to Westminster Abbey on Friday, April 29 - and more than half will be friends of the couple, The Mail on Sunday has been told.

William and his bride-to-be have been allowed to invite more than 1,000 of their friends, by far the largest proportion of guests who will attend the service and the post-wedding breakfast at Buckingham Palace. Invitations were sent out via Royal Mail last Wednesday and Thursday.

The Mail on Sunday has been told that the Queen has personally invited 40 crowned heads from around the world - including the Middle East, despite the tumult sweeping the region - as well as the expected crowned heads of Europe. Among the surprise invitees are the King of Jordan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Sultan of Oman, the King of Bahrain, the Sultan of Brunei and the King of Saudi Arabia as well as the Emperor of Japan, the King of Malaysia, the King of Tonga and the King of Thailand.

Although the crowned heads have yet to formally accept, and the King of Thailand is said to be too ill to attend, a senior source within the Foreign Office described it as a high proportion of crowned heads for a wedding that is not being treated as a state wedding.

US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle are understood not to have received a wedding invitation, although they have been invited to Buckingham Palace for a state visit in May in what is being seen as a 'sweetener'.

The invitations are on thick white card measuring 8in by 6in, bevelled, gilded and stamped with EIIR in gold which has then been burnished.

Classic and elegant, the black text on the invitation - which has been issued in the name of the Queen - reads: 'The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by The Queen to invite ...to the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G., with Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on Friday, 29th April, 2011 at 11.00am.

'A reply is requested to State Invitations Secretary, Lord Chamberlain's Office, Buckingham Palace.' Gentlemen are required to wear uniform, morning coat or lounge suit. …

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