Will Prince Harry Invite Obama To His Wedding? It's Complicated
President Trump not receiving an invite to next year's royal wedding would likely stir controversy on its own, and according to the tabloid The Sun, the British government is urging Prince Harry not to invite Obama to his wedding. Back in September, the British prince was seen hanging out with the former U.S. president at the Invictus Games, a sporting event for war veterans, and reports claimed soon after the wedding announcement that the Obamas would possibly go to England to see him tie the knot with American actress Meghan Markle. However, the guest list might not be entirely up to the couple.
Early in his term, British officials had invited Trump for an official state visit, with an aim to hold it in 2017 — however, the visit's been put on hold in the wake of criticism from both the public and politicians and intensifying tensions between the two nations. And according to The Sun, the British government is reportedly worried the Obamas attending the wedding would further exasperate its friendship with the Trump administration, and Prime Minister Theresa May might step in to decide who's invited.
"Conversations are ongoing about and ministers will eventually have to decide. If the PM [Theresa May] lays down the law, Harry will just have to suck it up," a senior government source told The Sun. However, the source added, "Harry has made it clear he wants the Obamas at the wedding, so it's causing a lot of nervousness."
Kensington Palace has not confirmed who the prince wishes to invite.
Trump's Twitter habits have extended past criticizing Kim Jong Un and the Democrats to also commenting on U.K. affairs — which doesn't always go over well. In June, he criticized London Mayor Sadiq Khan after a terror attack in London:
Then, a few months later, Trump tweeted that the "sick and demented people" who carried out another terrorist attack on the British capital were "in the sights" of U.K. law enforcement. Prime Minister Theresa May responded by saying, "I never think it's helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation."
Trump was also rebuked for retweeting an anti-Muslim video from the far-right group Britain First; in a statement, the Council of British Muslims called the move the "clearest endorsement yet from the US President of the far-right and their vile anti-Muslim propaganda." A spokesperson for Prime Minister May also said the people of Britain "overwhelmingly reject the prejudiced rhetoric of the far right."
While the U.K. hasn't revoked Trump's invitation for a state visit, the relationship between the allies isn't as strong as it used to be. Prince Harry even reportedly believes Trump is a serious threat to human rights (though Kensington Palace did not confirm this belief), and his fiancée has called the president "misogynistic." Still, the British government is reportedly concerned that inviting the Obamas to the royal wedding could worsen relations between the U.S. and the U.K. even more.
"Trump could react very badly if the Obamas get to a Royal wedding before he has had a chance to meet the Queen," the senior government source told The Sun. Considering Trump's vocal disdain for his predecessor, it's not hard to imagine him angrily tweeting about being snubbed at the wedding.
The added security costs of having a sitting president in attendance could be another deterrent for inviting Trump to the next royal wedding. But it's also entirely possible that neither Obama nor Trump get an invite, as the Obamas weren't asked to attend Prince William's wedding in 2011.
Prince Harry and Markle will tie the knot in May in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Regardless of who's in attendance, the wedding will be an international spectacle — but whether a former or sitting U.S. president is invited adds an extra layer of suspense.