21 February 2011

UK: No official guest list for the royal wedding to be released

Clarence House issued a press release on Saturday 19 February 2011 by which we were told that the press office will not release "the names of individual invitees" in connection with the royal wedding on 29 April 2011. I checked the official website of the Prince of Wales before posting my last blog article yesterday, but obviously I must have overlooked the press release somehow. This means that there is no reason to look forward to the day when the guest list is finally released by the court, as I wrote in my first blog article yesterday.

The court did not give an explanation for the decision not to release the names of individual invitees, but I guess that security and/or privacy considerations could be the reason. I thought that security could be an issue also at other royal marriages in the past, but it didn't stop the respective courts from publishing a guest list. There might be more threats against the British royal family than against other royal families, but I still find it difficult to understand what difference a decision not to publish a guest list would make.

It will, however, not be too difficult to compile a guest list in connection with the royal wedding. Some courts will confirm the names of their representatives and the other names will be listed after they have been spotted on tv. People at Nobiliana.de and the other royalty discussion forums are usually very good at this, so we can expect that a full list of royals and other dignitaries will appear on several websites soon after the wedding has taken place.

The press release mentioned above says that "Over 40 Members of Foreign Royal Families" have been invited, which is quite different from Mail Online's headline, which says "40 crowned heads to attend William and Kate's big day". If Mail Online by "crowned heads" mean "royal heads of state", then they can not have spent much time on fact checking. Wouldn't 30 be more correct, cf. my Longest reigns survey? Anyway, I would gather that among the 40 or more members of foreign royal families there will be more heirs than monarchs. Well, time will show!



  1. Actually I think there is no tradition among royal houses outside Scandinavia for publishing guest lists for major events in advance.

    In Britain one may often find out who actually attended by reading the Court Circular afterwards, but in recent years event he Court Circular has tended to say simply "members of foreign royal families".

    Although imprecise "crowned heads" is in colloquial English often used as a synonym for royals in general and should not be interpreted too literally.

  2. Thanks for your in put. I guess you are right, although I wonder if also the Benelux monarchies publish guest lists in advance. At least the Grand Ducal Court of Luxembourg published a list of royals and other dignitaries attending the burial of Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte in 2005.

    Concerning the British royal court, even if there has been no tradition to publish such lists in advance, this year's royal wedding would be a great opportunity to change its policy. However, we know now that it won't, and one just has to accept that the various courts do things differently.

    I still think that using inaccurate labels as "crowning heads" as a synonym for royals in general is rather silly, though. :-)


  3. You may be right about Grand Duchess Joséphine-Charlotte's funeral, but I cannot recall any official guest lists from Belgium and the Dutch court seems to consider most things concerning their royal family private.

    The last major royal occasion in Britain with lots of foreign royals attended must be the Queen Mother's funeral and if I recall the only guests officially "announced" was those appearing in the Abbey procession order (which in itself was a complete mess), while other royal guests were never officially confirmed by the British court.

    Yes, I agree that "crowned heads" is a bad synonym for royals in general (another silly term one may occasionally see in the British media is "a bunch of Euroroyals"), but what can one do? How many literally crowned heads are there by the way in the world today - Queen of Britain, King of Tonga, ex-King of Nepal, King of Lesotho or Swaziland...?

  4. My comment concerning the Benelux monarchies was formed more as a question than an assertion. I could have mentioned, though, that I did in fact receive from the Grand Ducal Court the list of royals etc. attending Joséphine-Charlotte's funeral.

    Yes, what can we do about silly terms used by the British media! Comment on them in our blogs, at least? :-)


  5. What about the Norwegian media, sir?

    Let's consider "terningkast" ("throw of a dice") as a term for grading. Need I say more?