Poor Fergie. If the public humiliation of drunkenly trying to sell your ex-husband’s influence to an undercover News of the World reporter dressed up as a sheik isn’t enough, what about being shut out of the most important social event of the decade? The Duchess of York’s ex, Prince Andrew, an uncle of the groom, is planning to attend the wedding, as are her daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Now that must hurt, but it’s also hardly unexpected—even for Fergie.
You see, when it comes to “snubbery” the royal family is in a league of their own. Look no further than Fergie’s former sister-in-law Princess Diana or her great uncle by marriage, Edward the abdicator. Both got stone-cold treatment for decades for daring to break with palace protocol. Yes, with these royals, you’re either in or you’re out. And for most of us mere mortals it’s the latter.
To be fair, sources say that William hasn’t spoken to Fergie in over fifteen years, as a result of a massive falling out between the Duchess and his mother. And anyone who’s ever planned a wedding can relate to the struggle of cutting back the dreaded guest list—even when the number you have to hit is a whopping 1300! (I still remember fighting my grandmother over all the foreign dignitaries and heads of state she insisted on being invited to my barefoot Muskoka beach wedding.)
But enough about those on the outs. The lucky few to have made the cut fall into three groups: 1) Those invited to the ceremony at Westminster Abby (everyone), 2) Those attending a lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Queen (600), 3) The anointed inner circle who will carry on to an exclusive dinner hosted by William and Kate (300).
According to sources at the palace, Kate and Will have tried hard to keep their wedding light on celebrities and heavy on people whom they actually know and care about. Sure the Beckhams are invited, as are Elton John and David Furnish, but more controversially the bride and groom have also included their respective exes, Jecca Craig and Rupert Finch.
My favourite guest, however, is John Haley, the landlord of the Old Boot Inn in Stanford Dingley, Berkshire—Kate and William’s favourite local pub in the village where Kate grew up. A royal invitation for the barman who pulled the couple’s pints. Only in England.