Beckham on guest list, Obamas missing

William-Kate wedding

 Many of the 1,900 invitees had already been mentioned in the media weeks ago, including soccer star David Beckham and his wife Victoria , musician Elton John and director Guy Ritchie. But others, like soul singer Joss Stone and Mr Bean actor Rowan Atkinson — a close friend of William’s father Prince Charles — were new.

St James’s Palace also confirmed for the first time that Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa will be attending, despite British concerns about the treatment of activists there.

About 40 other foreign royals from countries including Denmark, Norway, Spain, Thailand and Morocco will be in attendance. Other guests include British government and defence officials, British soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and people who work for William’s charities.

Palace officials said only crowned heads of states are traditionally invited to royal weddings, and that political leaders who are not from the 54-member Commonwealth of nations like Obama or Sarkozy, weren’t sent invitations.

Prince William has ensured that close friends of his mother late Princess Diana are invited for his marriage.

India will be represented at the wedding by the country’s High Commissioner to Britain Nalin Surie. Among the religious leaders invited for the marriage include Anil Bhanot, a founding member of the Hindu Council UK.

According to The Sunday Times, Sir Elton John, who sang at Diana’s funeral, is on the list along with Tessa Green, who used to chair the Royal Marsden foundation trust — the cancer specialist centre which had been supported by Diana.

Sir John Major, former prime minister who was appointed guardian to princes William and Harry when Diana died, and William’s friend Joss Stone, the singer who performed at the concert for Diana, are also on the list.

Diana’s family, including her brother Earl Spencer and his fiancee Karen Gordon, will sit behind the Middletons and their friends at the abbey, rather than on the royal family’s side of the aisle.

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, has not been invited. Among the foreign royals on the guest list are the Sultan of Brunei, Prince Albert II of Monaco and Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco.

Besides Bhanot, the list of religious leaders and representatives attending includes Lord Sacks, the chief rabbi; Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, archbishop emeritus of Westminster.

Bogoda Seelawimala, acting head monk of the London Buddhist Vihara, will be among the guests. He is the first Buddhist monk to be invited to a royal wedding in Britain.
The world of sports and entertainment are well represented with a list that includes Rowan Atkinson, the comedian and friend of Prince Charles, and Guy Ritchie, the film director friend of the couple. The sports stars include Mike Tindall, the England rugby player and fiance of Zara Phillips, William’s cousin; David Beckham, the footballer and his wife Victoria; Ian Thorpe, the Australian Olympic swimmer; Gareth Thomas, the Wales rugby player who has spoken publicly about his homosexuality; Sir Clive Woodward, the former coach of the England rugby team; and Simon Johnson, head of England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid.

A selection of cabinet ministers and their spouses have been invited including Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Foreign Secretary William Hague and Home Secretary Theresa May.

A war veteran who suffered near-fatal injuries including 75 per cent burns during an ambush in Afghanistan will be at the royal wedding.

Martyn Compton served alongside Prince William as a lance-corporal in the Household Cavalry. Also on the list are Susie Roberts, the widow of William’s friend Major Alexis Roberts who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007, and Holly Dyer, whose sister Joanna, a close friend of William’s at Sandhurst, was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007.

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