gallery Royal Wedding Guests
The royal wedding invitation list is out, and now the scrutiny intensifies. Why did David Beckham get the nod over Gordon Brown? And why no Obamas? From Margaret Thatcher to Fergie, see whom Prince William and Kate Middleton chose—or snubbed.
Who's In: Victoria and David Beckham
David Beckham and
—who is president of the English Football Association—met at
last year's World Cup in South Africa
, and the two reportedly "got on like a house on fire, both personally and professionally." The prince and the football star bonded in Johannesburg over the summer as ambassadors to England's 2018 World Cup bid. Shortly after the Beckhams received their invitation, designer Victoria announced she would be sending over a selection of dresses as a gift to the bride-to-be. The
Beckhams will be attending the wedding service
at Westminster Abbey on Friday and also possibly a lunch for 600 people hosted by the queen at Buckingham Palace. They were not invited to Prince Charles' ultra-exclusive dinner dance, which only 300 guests will attend.
Who's In: Guy Ritchie Who's In: Elton John
Sir Elton John
received an invitation to Prince William's wedding. Elton John was a close friend of William's mother, Princess Diana, and the singer-songwriter performed "Candle in the Wind" at her funeral. When asked by BBC Radio 2 whether he would be performing at the royal wedding,
, "I probably will. I'll probably be busking outside."
Who's In: Joss Stone
also made the cut—the English soul singer and songwriter performed at a memorial concert held at London's Wembley Stadium on July 1, 2007, in honor of what would have been the late Princess of Wales' 46th birthday. "We wanted to have this big concert full of energy, full of the sort of fun and happiness which I know she would have wanted," said
, who organized the event with his brother, Harry. The memorial concert was followed by a church service on August 31, the 10th anniversary of Diana's death.
Who's In: Rowan Atkinson
It could be fodder for one of his
Actor Rowan Atkinson
, a friend of Prince Charles, will mingle with hundreds of royal wedding guests. Let's hope he doesn't make a scene.
Who's In: David Cameron
two former prime ministers were blacklisted
from the "semi-state" royal affair, the current conservative-leaning prime minister will be in attendance. There's been much speculation about his attire, after Downing Street said he would wear a work-style suit to the fancy occasion. (Cameron was allegedly sensitive to adversaries making him out to be "a toff.") But
The Telegraph recently reported
that the prime minister will don a traditional morning suit.
Who's In: The Sultan of Brunei
While other foreign royals were apparently too busy to make it to Will and Kate's big day, the sultan of Brunei has RSVP'd "Yes" to the ceremony. The sultan has reigned in the sovereign state ever since it gained independence from Britain in 1984.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images Who's In: Tiggy Legge-Bourke
Many think Prince William's former nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke is the
spitting image of his bride-to-be
. Tiggy became Prince William's nanny in 1993, shortly after his mother and father separated, and has remained an influential figure in his life ever since.
Who's Out: Tony and Cherie Blair
Former Prime Minister
didn't get invited, prompting rumors that it was a deliberate snub to the former Labour leader, who clashed with the queen over her handling of Princess Di's funeral. Cherie, too, would have reason to be snubbed: She refused to curtsy for members of the royal family.
Who's Out: Gordon and Sarah Brown
The royal family's failure to invite former Prime Minister
and his wife, Sarah, along with former Prime Minister Tony Blair, sparked rumors that the palace was deliberately snubbing Labour politicians. The palace's official justification was that neither Blair nor Brown were Knights of the Garter, unlike former prime ministers (Baroness) Margaret Thatcher and (Sir) John Major.
Roberto Candia / AP Photo Who's Out: Barack and Michelle Obama
The queen sent gold-embossed invitations to 40 heads of state, but not to
President Obama or first lady Michelle
. The Obamas will get an official state visit in May, however, the first of its kind since 2003. It
that the state visit is compensation for the missing wedding invitation—all because of the extra security costs involved with protecting the president.
Steve Parsons / AP Photo,Steve Parsons Who's Out: Sarah Ferguson
Fergie's exclusion from the royal wedding guest list was an even bigger snub—because the rest of her family got one. Her daughters and her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, all got invitations and are planning to attend, but
was apparently seen as a threat to the decorum of the wedding. "Sarah can act too open, too vulnerable and just too out there for the royal family's best interests," said one
. "In the decade and a half since her divorce from Prince Andrew, she has caused some drama that the queen could do without."
Missing Out: Crown Prince of Bahrain
Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa
is too busy holding on to his own crown to be bothered with Prince William's. The crown prince of Bahrain declined his invitation to the wedding, probably much to the relief of the royal family, which had become embroiled in controversy after extending an invitation to the prince, who is putting down in brutal fashion a revolution at home.
Ahmad Zamroni, AFP / Getty Images Missing Out: The King of Cambodia
King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia's snub was rather mysterious. He said only that he was "busy" with "another important engagement" and that he was "sad" he could not attend. He's not the first Cambodian king to snub a royal wedding. His father,
refused to attend Princess Alexandra's wedding in 1963 after he discovered he would not receive a guard of honor or be allowed to stay in Windsor Castle.
Missing Out: Margaret Thatcher
Not only did former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher get an invitation while Blair and Brown were snubbed, she didn't even use it. The baroness declined, due to ill health.