Opinion: Politics of the guest list is a royal pain

Prince Harry’s proposal to his fiancée, Meghan Markle, may have been unprecedentedly low key (he popped the question at home, over a roast chicken) but the couple’s short time together has been marred by high drama.

First there was the business about Markle’s harsh and occasionally racist treatment in the tabloids, provoking the prince to issue a statement insisting media back off the 36-year-old American actress, whose mother couldn’t even walk out her front door without being accosted by foreign reporters.

Then came the incident of the arguably racist brooch worn by a member of the British Royal Family – a woman who may have the worst title in the history of nobility: Princess Michael of Kent.

Earlier this month, Princess Michael, the wife of (who else?) Prince Michael of Kent, the Queen’s first cousin, gave new meaning to the term “statement piece” when she wore a “blackamoor” brooch depicting a caricature of an African person to a lunch with Harry and Meghan, a fashion choice many interpreted as a not-so-subtle dig at Markle’s mixed-race heritage. (The princess later apologized for wearing the brooch.)

But we’re not done yet.

Markle’s estranged half-sister, Samantha Grant, has emerged slinging insults at the actress in the press – allegedly calling her a social climber and announcing a forthcoming tell-all book about growing up with Markle, entitled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister.

And yet, despite the insanity listed above, the betrothed couple’s biggest trial is only just beginning. Enter the politics of the wedding guest list. Who will Harry and Meghan invite to their spring wedding at Windsor Castle? And more importantly, who won’t they?

Most couples faced with this dilemma are weighing whether to send an invitation to an old friend, or a lecherous great uncle. But Harry and Meghan must weigh whether they want to invite the lecherous leader of the free world – a.k.a. U.S. President Donald Trump. The time is soon at hand for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to reveal which presidents – if any – they are going to invite to their wedding on May 19. According to a recent story in the U.K. tabloid, the Sun, British government officials are deeply worried that Harry and Meghan will invite the Obamas to their wedding, a couple they know and admire, but decline to invite Trump and first lady Melania – a couple they do not know and admire.

Apparently British officials fear that such a snub would anger Trump and further damage the already rocky relationship between the U.K. and the U.S.

In the interest of diplomatic relations then, and with full knowledge that the president has the emotional maturity of a cast member on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Harry and Meghan should spare us yet another Trumpian tweet storm, or worse, and either invite both the Trumps and the Obamas to their wedding, or invite neither couple. These are the responsible options: the options that would serve the best interests of Queen and country.

But in the interest of throwing the best possible wedding – an event that should be, when done right, the happiest day of a person’s life, Harry and Meghan should snub Trump if they feel so inclined. He may be the president, but he isn’t family. Unlike Princess Michael of Kent, he’s an alleged racist they have no familial obligation to.

Thus, while their decision to leave him off the guest list might be read as a political blunder, it wouldn’t be read as a social one. No fair person would judge them negatively for it, because Trump’s presence would surely make a sideshow of their special day .

In the end, like any engaged celebrity couple, Harry and Meghan have a unique opportunity to set wedding trends and upend traditional etiquette. If they select dead daisies for their centrepieces, half the world will select dead daisies. If they book a Kiss cover band to play at their reception, half the world will book a Kiss cover band. If they decide to cut their wedding cake before dinner, half the world will cut their wedding cake before dinner. And if they choose to exclude Donald Trump from their guest list, and invite Barack Obama instead, betrothed couples will get the message far and wide, a message that would benefit us all: if you can’t stand somebody, don’t invite them to your party.

If you like them, do.

Emma Teitel is a national affairs writer.

Just Posted

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

Get your guilty pleasures: Westerner Days food

Traditional sugary treats were served up by the plate, bowl and bucket… Continue reading

Centrefest brings feats of daring to Red Deer’s downtown

Fundraising was a tough slog, but it came together in the end

Count shows slight decrease in Red Deer’s homeless

In two years, the number of homeless in Red Deer has decreased… Continue reading

Redoing hip surgeries are costly, says new study

Redoing hip and knee replacements costs Canada’s health system $130 million a… Continue reading

WATCH: Cirque ZUMA ZUMA puts on a show at Westerner Days

ZUMA ZUMA performs three times a day during Westerner Days

Jones’ punt return TD rallies Riders to road victory over Ticats

Roughriders 31 Tiger-Cats 20 HAMILTON — Brandon Bridge kept Dave Watford on… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer’s Iron Buffalo rocks Westerner Days

Iron Buffalo opened for Helix and Lee Aaron Thursday at the ENMAX Centrium

Zuckerberg’s Holocaust comment puts Facebook on the spot

NEW YORK — Denying the Holocaust happened is probably OK on Facebook.… Continue reading

Brazilian police arrest ‘Dr. Bumbum’ after patient dies

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian police have arrested celebrated plastic surgeon Denis… Continue reading

Canadian marijuana company Tilray has first US pot IPO

SEATTLE — A Canadian company is the first marijuana business to complete… Continue reading

Dolphins anthem punishment includes suspensions

Miami Dolphins players who protest on the field during the national anthem… Continue reading

Soy “milk” makers may need to find alternative description

NEW YORK — Soy and almond drinks that bill themselves as “milk”… Continue reading

Calgary woman convicted in son’s strep death granted day parole

CALGARY — A woman whose son died after she failed to take… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month