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Will the Obamas Be Invited to the Royal Wedding?

Esquire (UK) logo Esquire (UK) 13/01/2018 Eileen Reslen

Meghan Markle et al. posing for a picture © Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc Despite Barack Obama and Prince Harry’s friendship, it is “extremely unlikely” that the former President and First Lady of the United States will be invited to this year’s royal wedding, Duncan Lacrombe tells TownandCountrymag.com.

In Decemeber, CNNreported that Prince Harry told the BBC he didn't want to "ruin that surprise," when asked if he would invite Obama, but Lacrombe says he is "almost certain" that the Obamas will not be going to the wedding. The official invitations, however, have not been released.

Lacrombe, a journalist and biographer of Prince Harry: The Inside Story, adds that reports of the British government pleading for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to exclude Michelle and Barack are likely true. “Diplomacy is very important,” he explains. “Harry and Meghan will be guided by the Foreign Office’s advice."

The Foreign Office, which is responsible for protecting and promoting British interests worldwide, typically advises inviting foreign royals, dignitaries, and diplomats to royal weddings, Lacrombe says. At Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011, no heads of state were invited. Lacrombe says he expects Harry to follow in his older brother’s footsteps.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge et al. posing for the camera © Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc “There were religious leaders, members of the royal family, and commonwealth countries that were invited. I suspect that will be the same blueprint that [Meghan and Harry] will use," he says, adding that the British royal family have historically remained politically neutral. "It’s all very carefully orchestrated to make sure that there’s no political overtones." (It's worth noting that since the Queen is the head of state for all commonwealth countries, someone like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau might not fall on the "do not invite" list.) 

However, Lacrombe acknowledges that Prince Harry and Obama have forged a very genuine friendship over the years. The pair were photographed together at the 2017 Invictus Games, Harry attended the first Obama Foundation Summit, Obama sent the newly engaged couple a congratulatory tweet in November, and Harry most recently interviewed the former president for the BBC.

a couple of people standing around a table © Provided by Hearst Communications, Inc “I think part of their understanding is that Harry served as a soldier at the time when Obama was Commander-in-Chief,” Lacrombe explains. “But there’s a different friendship there, rather than like a business relationship.”

Lacrombe adds that he expects Harry might reach out to Obama personally to explain, since they are friends - and that Obama won't be offended. “I’m sure of all the people that would understand, it would be Barack Obama,” Lacrombe says.

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Will Be Strongly Advised Not To Invite The Obamas To Their Wedding © Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Will Be Strongly Advised Not To Invite The Obamas To Their Wedding Despite Harry and Megan noticeable attempts at ripping up the royal rule book (case and point: their unconventional engagement photoshoot), Lacrombe says he thinks that Harry will still heed the Foreign Office’s advice.

“[Harry and Meghan] are real people and they do want to do their own thing, but I think they’ll also be very conscious of the fact that, from a [public relations] point of view, any major mistakes... you could regret that for a very long time,” he says.

Related: Prince William has no idea if he's going to be Prince Harry's best man (Provided by Hello Giggles)

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