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

Red Deer massage therapist not guilty of sexual assault

Judge said he had reasonable doubt and must acquit

Update: Nine dead, 16 injured in van incident authorities call a horrific attack

TORONTO — Nine people died and 16 others were injured when a… Continue reading

Watch: Flood watch remains for Waskasoo Creek

Red Deer crews monitoring creek

Warm temperatures this week for Red Deer

23 C forecast for Saturday

WATCH: Central Alberta dancers take over Red Deer College with their moves

Danceworks Central Alberta Dance Festival is now in its 38th year

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Anti-straw movement should consider people with disabilities, advocates say

TORONTO — Some Canadians who rely on plastic straws are calling on… Continue reading

Doctors must get better at diagnosing patients with darker skin: Dermatologists

TORONTO — About a month ago, a frustrated Emma Schmidt turned to… Continue reading

Loblaw Companies tax court trial over Barbadian banking subsidiary starts

TORONTO — A tax court trial involving Loblaw Companies Ltd. and allegations… Continue reading

As trial winds down, DA downplays Cosby travel records

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Prosecutors highlighted gaps in Bill Cosby’s travel records on… Continue reading

Summer Movie Preview: Hollywood roars back into action

LOS ANGELES — Summer starts early this year in Hollywood with the… Continue reading

5 things to know as William and Kate have 3rd child

LONDON — Like everything to do with Britain’s royal family, a mix… 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