For the past 24 hours, observers on both sides of the Atlantic have been busy solving the latest international crisis: which president Prince Harry may invite to his wedding. Reportedly, the British government worries that an invite for former president Barack Obama could hurt the working relationship with the Trump administration because current president Donald Trump would be personally affronted for not getting an invite himself — especially since he has not yet met the Queen. Now it seems that Harry addressed the Obama wedding invite after an interview of the former president was released Wednesday.
Speaking with BBC Radio 4 after his interview was released, Prince Harry danced around the question. Harry had acknowledged that he and Obama shared the same outlook on the world, particularly on charity, foundations, and the world's youth. But when asked about a invitation — "Enough to invite him to your wedding?" — Harry's answer perhaps mirrored the delicate situation he and his fiancee, Meghan Markle find themselves in:
Well, I don't know about that. ... We haven't put the invites or the guestlist together yet so who knows whether he's going to be invited or not. Wouldn't want to ruin that surprise.
The question likely stems from a piece written in The Sun that quoted a "senior government source."
"Harry has made it clear he wants the Obamas at the wedding, so it's causing a lot of nervousness," the official was quoted as saying. "Trump could react very badly if the Obamas get to a Royal wedding before he has had a chance to meet the Queen." The source also suggested that it would be up to the government ministers to ultimately decide and Harry will have to "suck it up."
But because it's not a royal wedding, British outlets report that it is actually Buckingham Palace that will draw up the guest list, not the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that oversees official British events. Heads of state will not be officially invited.
Markle and Harry may not have made the guest list, but the date has been set. The two will marry May 19 at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Meanwhile Markle has been spending the holidays with her new, royal family.
Harry gave the interview to Radio 4 to promote an interview with Obama he did as a guest editor. Back in September, the two sat down at the Invictus Games in Toronto to talk about everything from the youth of the world to the new morning routine the former president's taken up since he left of office.
One of the key subjects discussed in the interview was social media, with Obama landing a perhaps veiled jab at President Trump. "All of us in leadership have to find ways to recreate a common space on the internet," Obama told Harry, in response to a question about what the White House can do to stop "trolling, extremism, fake news and cyberbullying" — arguably all strategies that the current president employs on Twitter.
Obama also told Prince Harry that many social networks online would be best fully developed out in the real world.
On the Internet everything is simplified. And when you meet people face to face it turns out that they are complicated. There may be someone who you think is diametrically opposed to you because of their political views, but you root for the same sports team. Or you notice that they're really good parents.
"It's also, by the way, harder to be as obnoxious and cruel in person as people can be anonymously on the internet," he added.
Perhaps Obama and Trump could use the same strategy. But it doesn't sound, though, like that will happen at Markle and Harry's wedding — at least one of the two probably won't make the invite list.