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Royal snub for the Obamas: No wedding invite from Prince William and Kate Middleton

Barack and Michelle Obama visit Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip 4/1/09

Oh, the humiliation. Once not so long ago one of the world's top celebrities in his own right, Barack Obama and his wife Michelle did not make the cut for invitations to the royal wedding in London next spring.

On April 29 in Westminster Abbey with all the grace and pageantry sure to capture international imaginations, commoner Kate Middleton will marry Prince William, son of Princess Diana. And don't forget the horsedrawn carriage perhaps.

But the current residents of the White House will not be there, according to the Daily Mail.Prince William of Britain and his fiancee Kate Middleton

The official excuse provided to the British paper by royal sources is that the royal couple wants to share their special nuptial moment with ordinary citizens. Anyway, it is not an official state event, they said. And, you know, Westminster only seats 2,000.

Nice try.

So then how to explain the invites to French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni?

And how to explain the invitations to England-loving President and Mrs. Reagan for the wedding of Diana and Prince Charles back in 1981? And the subsequent invitations to the American first family for the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson five years later?

The Obamas and royal family sure look friendly in the 2009 photo above (well, OK, Prince Philip doesn't look so cheery).

On that grand occasion in Buckingham Palace, President Obama on behalf of the people of the United States presented the British sovereign with the gift of an iPod. She gave him a photograph framed in silver.

That came a few months after Britain's visiting Prime Minister Gordon Brown was denied the traditional Oval Office photo op with the American president. And Obama gave Brown a couple of toy helicopters of Marine One and classic American movie DVD's, reportedly in a format incompatible with British players. Thanks for stopping by.

Such incidents gave rise to silly rumors that Obama carries some kind of vestigial grudge toward America's traditional ally, possibly because his Kenyan father was a colonial subject of Britain's until two years after baby Barack's 1961 birth. And don't forget those pesky WikiLeak documents showing Obama aides consider the current British prime minister, David Cameron, a lightweight. Isn't everyone who doesn't attend Harvard?

Maybe William's grandparents will ultimately change his mind for him. And who wants to go London in April anyway when you can hit the musty gym over at the Interior Department for an hour of hoops with Arne Duncan?

Meanwhile, the current wedding invitation snub could be something as simple as the engaged couple not caring a cricket's wicket about a couple of Chicagoans from a faux Hyde Park. Maybe the British just don't like Nobel Prize winners.

It couldn't possibly be overdue retaliation for that tax protest by Massachusetts liberals dumping 342 chests of British tea into the ocean. That, of course, became known as the Boston Tea Party. Seems like only 237 years ago last night.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Getty Images (2009); Mario Testino.

 
Comments () | Archives (182)

The comments to this entry are closed.

yeah, i'm sure that the person who's trying to keep this country from crashing is very broken up over not being invited to some prince nobody's wedding. what a pointless, idiotic non-story.

My only remark is towards you: if this snub had happened to former President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush, would your article title have read: Malcolm: William, Kate don't invite George, Barbara? I don't think so...I so wish I were your boss..

... or of course, it could just all be totally unreliable gossip by a rag known for unreliable gossip!

Please thank baldy and his soon to be ex-wife thanks for saving the american taxpayers about 25mm bucks!

Ok this is one of the most idiotic articles I have seen in a long time. If its an attempt to be funny or sarcastic it failed. Otherwise its a nasty mean spirited article with no apparent purpose.

Am loving this.

Congratulations to Wills and Kate.

WTH!

Not good. William will one day be the King of England.

What a non-article. You sure didn't have something to write about ... and THIS is the best you could come up with? Man, you would get a 'F' in my journalism class. Which reminds me - how'd you get this job with such pathetic ideas for pieces? Couldn't be talent. You've proven that.....

The President an Michele require way too much security. I don't think the Obamas are snubbed so much as the choice seems to be: do you want the Obamas to attend or the people.

It wasn't a tax protest, it was a colonial rights protest. It was a protest over the lack of representation.

Here in the US we have a saying about the presidency, "If you can't respect the man at least respect the office." Speaking for myself, that is getting very hard to do. I didn't vote for him but he makes me feel embarrased for my country. I hold no animosity for anything thing the Royals say or do about him.

I think it's very, very telling....and I LOVE the fact that the Obama's will NOT be invited! They don't need to stick their big noses in everyone's business all the time.

Besides, isn't it time he stayed HOME and did something for the United States? Instead of just flying all over the world and handing the reins to Bill Clinton? If Obama is so unhappy being President, why doesn't he just let Bill have the job back?!?!?

Didn't he also send back the Churchill bust? You don't diss the Winston in front of the Windsors!

how about just "sending" them a toaster, with the presidential seal on it?

good, saves the US tax payers some money on a trip over to the UK

Loved the comment about the faux Hyde Park, as a former resident thereof, though I also love the REAL Hyde Park, which is a great place for a jog. But the faux Hyde Park just looks greener and more beautiful all the time--with its faux Oxford-looking (but more Nobel Prize-winning) University of Chicago.

Hurrah for the Royals. There are some insults that even Royalty don't forget.

My first impression was the royal couple did not want to be upstaged by Obama's usual travelling entourage of 500+ It's to be their wedding day, and an imperial wannabe could only diminish that so IMHO the political fallout is worth it.

And Obama returned the Churchill statue that been accorded high status in the White House for years. He has no understanding of the historic Anglo-American alliance.

Andrew Malcolm .. Has written a article of spite .. what does he expect in return ? I would advise him to grow up .. Patricia xx

It does seem like a snub. Maybe none of the above is the reason why. Maybe the Brits are angry we dragged them into needless, endless wars. How about that?

So now we know the future King of England hates America. That will be useful knowledge in the future if he ever needs anything from us, like, say, rescuing his country from the Nazis.

Well, no fear. Obama will just do the wedding crasher trick of showing up at the reception with a gift-wrapped box of rocks.

You didn't mention the gift that Brown gave to Obama before Obama showered him with the DVD set - it was a desk set made from the timbers of a 19th century British anti-slaving vessel, HMS Gannet. Maybe Obama was insulted at the implication that any of his ancestors could have been slaves.

They didn't want to embarrass the 0bamas. Again.

Well the obvious snub couldn't have had anything to do with Obama's treatment of Great Britain (which was to either belittle or ignore) so it must be RAAAAACIIIIIST!!!

I thought Obama returning the bust of Churchill was pretty outrageous.

I am not an Obama supporter but as an American I feel this is an insult to
not only our President and First Lady but also an insult to the United States
of America. I think is shows poor taste on the part of the Royals and just
how disgusting the "Royals" are as a family.

The author left out the snub by 0bama giving the bust of Churchill back. That's odd. But the Brits are top-notch at spotting a cad from a mile away. Cheers, mate.

Maybe they just don't want any jerks at their wedding?

And if nothing else, Obama has shown himself to be a 1st Class jerk.

Or perhaps, as you have amply demonstrated, Mr. Malcolm, they don't like "n-words" either.

If the President were a White KKKonservative like yourself, would you be so gleeful in your reportage of what is, in essence, trivial gossip?

I think that if you have the guts to let this through, your readers will rapidly assess the answer to that question -- which seems utterly rhetorical at this point.

The Obamas look like tourist that won a photo op with the queen. The queen with her fake looking smile looks like she’s thinking this insufferable pair will be leaving soon.

The Royal Family made the right decision for not enviting US President Obama and his wife Michelle. I think enviting them will bring embarassment to the US for the following reason:
When Pres. Obama and his wife visited the Royalty in 2009, Pres. Obama did not know the protocol of respect to the Queen. Instead of bowing to the Saudi King, Pres. Obama should have bowed to the Queen of England. Instead Pres. Obama just gave the Queen a pat at the back. I think it was very unethical gesture; it showed no culture at all. I think they deserve not to be envited.

I guess it doesn't pay to slap the Queen on the back and call her "Liz"...

Despite the disclaimers, it would seem that the Brits did remember Obama's brutal insults to the nation after all...

I wouldn't invite Obama to my wedding, either. He's a bore. Somewhere in the middle of it, he'd want to give a speech making the wedding all about him. Then he'd go home and start some damned fool government program to give everyone free weddings and nationalize all the wedding chapels and dressmakers and caterers.

Michelle looks ginormous next to Betty Windsor. I'd leave the Obamas off the invite list for many reasons, particularly their return of the Winston Churchill bust. These two are even more gauche than Fergie's family and that's saying something.

Unable to quell her need to tell people what to eat,Flotus insulted her majesty
when she asked her ''why do you put milk and sugar in your tea ?Your majesty
is ruining all the free radical killing virtues of the tea.''Prince Phillip walked out of the room saying he had to take his cat to the vet.

I have to say - Michelle looks evil in that pic. And Barack has his usual fake smile. Who wants that at their wedding?

I wonder if the Bushes will get an invitation ... THAT would be a real slap in the face to Obama.

Racists! /sarcasm

Perhaps this is what happens when your first act as President is to return the bust of Winston Churchill that had been in the White House for 50 years to Great Britian.

When reviewing the many ways that Obama has insulted Britain, don't forget how he removed that bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and returned it to Britain.

British tabloids had a full page about Obama confiding to the queen that his
favorite British politician was Neville Chamberlain,adding that he thought
Churchill's reputation was vastly overstated.Right said the queen and tell me
about your pals Rezko,Ayers and Blago.In a fit of pique Obama sent Churchill's bust back to her gracious majesty,and it's been downhill ever since.

It'll be interesting to see if George and Laura Bush make the cut. (Now THAT would be a snub!)

respectfully,
Daniel in Brookline

In the first place, don't believe everything you read in the Daily Mail. It's a trashy and very unreliable paper, especially where the royal family is concerned.

In the second, this isn't a "snub". Charles's wedding in 1981 was a state occasion, because he is the Prince of Wales; that's why heads of state were invited. Prince Andrew's wedding was significantly more elaborate than a second son (or second heir) would normally receive, partly because economic times were good in '86 and partly because the country was hoping for another attention/tourism bounce such as it had received from the '81 event.

The Daily Mail was only speculating that the Sarkozys will be invited; it deals mostly in speculation. And if the Brits are trying to stage a comparatively modest, non-state and "local" occasion owing to certain economic and social realities, then Americans and foreigners should not not necessarily expect their heads of state to be invited.

It may also be that, as is standard, certain heads of state have already received inquiries about whether they would be likely to attend and that the Obamas have said "No."

This is just a guess, but if I were one of the happy couple, would I want to deal with all the security and disruption and bossing-around that accompanies the visit of the U.S. President? No, thank you.

Don't forget that PM Brown gave Obama a pen holder carved from the timbers of the sister ship of that which gave the wood to create the famous "Resolute Desk", and the framed commission for that famous ship, the HMS Resolute.
I and many other Americans were unhappy with the President returning the bust of Winston Churchill. He had no right to do that, it wasn't his to begin with. His behavior was incredibly tacky and embarrassing to us. I don't blame Prince William at all.

Here's to the royal family showing good taste in not inviting the Oblaima's

Gawhhd. Why do they need to go to the kid's wedding?
Have they even met?
People, this is why I don't subscribe to these stupid rags, and I used to read 4 or 5 newspapers a day.

(AM responds: What a coincidence! You get it free here. And here you are! Thanks for reading.)

 
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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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