When Meghan Markle weds Prince Harry she will be the first American to become a member of the Royal Family. The forming of such an historic transatlantic union would, on the face of it, be an apposite occasion for the US President to attend.
Kensington Palace said today the guest list is in the early stages of being compiled and that the Prince and Miss Markle would have the primary input.
Yet a former senior UK diplomatic source told the Telegraph he would be “surprised” if President Trump received an invitation for the royal wedding in May.
There are a number of stumbling blocks to Mr Trump receiving an invite, not least Miss Markle’s own public views about the President and the potential controversy he could bring to the happy occasion
The guest list hasn’t been set for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, but a number of things could stand in the way of President Donald Trump getting an invite.
But a former U.S. president might make the list, due to his friendship with the young British royal: Barack Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle, who appear to have amiable relations with Harry and his elder brother and future king, Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.
Asked about the potential guest list, Kensington Palace spokeswoman Julie Barley told Newsweek, “We’re focusing on the happy announcement of their engagement,” adding that invitations “will be announced in due course.”
Miss Markle’s comments on President Trump
Another potential hurdle to Mr Trump making the guest list is the fact Miss Markle has been an outspoken critic of the Republican in the past.
In a 2016 appearance on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore the Suits actress described Mr Trump as “divisive” and “misogynistic”.
She said: “Yes of course Trump is divisive, think of just female voters alone, right. I think it was in 2012 that the republican party lost the female vote by 12 points.
“That’s a huge number and with as misogynistic as Trump is and so vocal about it, that’s a huge chunk of it.
“You’re not just voting for a woman, if it’s Hillary, just because she’s a woman, but certainly as Trump has made it easy to see that you don’t really want that kind of world.”
Also in the interview Miss Markle said she “might just stay in Canada”, where she was filming Suits, if Mr Trump won the presidential election
Stalled state visit
The complications and controversy caused by the planned state visit for President Trump presents another potential road block to any invitation.
Within days of Mr Trump’s inauguration, Theresa May was the first world leader to visit him in Washington, where she offered the new president the prospect of a full state visit to the UK. The move prompted a strong backlash from MPs across the political spectrum and the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, announced he would oppose any plans for the President to address Parliament.
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married, in 2011, the Obamas were left off the guest list because of the added security costs of protecting the president. The day of the wedding, thousands of Britons took the day off, and about 1,900 guests attended the ceremony in Westminster Abbey in central London. The Obamas traveled to the U.K. less than a month later for an official state visit. Since Obama is no longer president, he doesn’t require as extensive a security detail as he once did.
If Trump were to appear at Prince Harry’s wedding in spring 2018, it would likely spark protests. When Prime Minister Theresa May offered Trump a state visit early this year, polls showed that 2 million people intended to take part in a protest against him. The risk of embarrassment, were such a protest to occur at a royal wedding, might put the couple off inviting such a controversial figure.
Instead of a state visit, Trump’s trip to the U.K., scheduled for early 2018, has been cast as a “working trip” where he will not meet the queen. In January, sources said Trump wanted to go “one better” than Obama’s state visit and play golf with Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle.
As for President Trump, Harry’s wife-to-be revealed that she was not a fan. In an interview on The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore during the 2016 election, Markle said she might decide to stay in Toronto—where her show, Suits, is filmed—if Trump were to win.
“We film Suits in Toronto, and I might just stay in Canada. I mean, come on, if that’s reality we are talking about, come on, that is a game changer in terms of how we move in the world here,” she said.
Markle supported Democrat Hillary Clinton during the election, calling Trump “misogynistic.”
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other Commonwealth leaders are expected to receive invitations to the wedding because of their nations’ ties to the British Empire.