Why Isn’t Obama Attending the Royal Wedding?

Getty Former U.S. President Barack Obama and Prince Harry share a joke as they watch wheelchair basketball on day 7 of the Invictus Games 2017.

The Royal Wedding is a beautiful affair for family and friends alike, but not everyone that you might expect to attend the wedding is going to be there. In fact, former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama will not be attending the Royal Wedding. Read on to learn why they won’t be there today.

The Obamas have skipped quite a few public events over the last few years, so it might not be too surprising to learn they won’t be flying to the Royal Wedding. But the reason why might surprise you: they weren’t invited.

However, the lack of invitation isn’t a personal affront to the Obamas, despite rumors to the contrary. In fact, political leaders simply aren’t being invited to the wedding, Town & Country Magazine reported. A Kensington Palace Spokesman said: “It has been decided that an official list of political leaders – both UK and international – is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s wedding. Her Majesty’s Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by The Royal Household.”

The size of their venue likely also played a role. The church has a maximum capacity of 900, compared to William and Kate’s wedding which invited 1,900.

There’s no animosity between the royal family and the Obamas. In fact, Prince Harry and former President Obama have been described as having a “budding friendship.” A source close to the Royal family said the Obamas wouldn’t be coming but “the couples look forward to seeing each other soon.”

In fact, some rumors speculated that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle really wanted the Obamas at their wedding, but were urged not to invite them for diplomatic reasons, since other political leaders also weren’t being invited. However, this does not confirm the rumor that Queen Elizabeth had the Obamas removed from the guest list after Michelle Obama tried to “sneak a spot,” Snopes reported. That false rumor originated from Just News USA and YourNewsWire, sites that are consistently unreliable.

This isn’t the first time political leaders weren’t invited to Royal weddings. Prince William and Kate Middleton also didn’t invite heads of state to their 2011 wedding. The British Royal family typically seeks to remain politically neutral.

Duncan Larcombe, a royal biographer and British journalist, told Town and Country: “Diplomacy is very important. Harry and Meghan will be guided by the Foreign Office’s advice.” He added that Harry might reach out personally to Obama, and Obama would not be offended about not being invited.

Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator, said they might also have not wanted to offend President Donald Trump, since sitting heads of state were not invited. In addition, Meghan Markle has been fairly vocal about her dislike for Trump.

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Check out all of Heavy’s coverage of the royal wedding.