Ever since the engagement between Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton was announced in November last year, royalty watchers and the media have been busy guessing about the guest lists to the wedding and reception.
Today we got the first official confirmation, as the Public Relations Office of HRH Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia (Yugoslavia) announced in a press release that Crown Prince Alexander and his wife Crown Princess Katherine have received an invitation from HM Queen Elizabeth to the wedding on 29 April 2011. Their Royal Highnesses say they are delighted to attend the marriage and are very happy for the young couple. Queen Elizabeth is, by the way, Crown Prince Alexander's godmother.
I am sure we will get far more details about the guest lists when we get closer to the wedding. Many courts will mention the royals' attendance in their lists of official engagements. There are some courts, however, which believe that attending a royal wedding is not an official engagement, so for some of the royals we just have to wait until they appear at Westminster Abbey. I am confident, though, that Buckingham Palace (or Clarence House) will publish the lists in due time.
Many have suggested that because it is not the heir to the British throne that is getting married, "only" the heir to the heir, the number of royal guests will be lower than we witnessed in 1981 when the Prince of Wales got married to Lady Diana Spencer. I think we can expect a great royal turn-up, though, and that most, if not all, of the European royal and princely families will be represented.
Concerning the speculations that have been going on, The Daily Mail claims to know that Sarah, Duchess of York, former wife of the Duke of York (Prince Andrew), is to receive an invitation. If the article is correct, I would not be that surprised, despite all the headlines the former duchess created last year (and in earlier years). But The Daily Mail has also claimed that President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have been "left off the guest list" as it is not a state occasion. I cannot understand why anyone would believe that they would be considered for an inviation in the first place. Then again we all know that The Daily Mail and other British tabloids should be read with a critical eye.
I will surely return with more comments on the guest lists as we get closer to the wedding.