Royal Wedding Guest List: David and Victoria Beckham In, Sarah Ferguson Out
Formal invitations to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding ceremony were sent out Wednesday and Thursday, and although St. James Palace declined to publish the official guest list, details are already starting to trickle out.
Officials confirmed that 1,900 invitations to the April 29 ceremony at Westminster Abbey were mailed to a mix of Commonwealth politicians, foreign royals, family, friends and celebrities. Although most of the names were expected, there were a few notable surprises.
Among the small handful of celebrities who reportedly received the gilded cards were David Beckham, with whom William worked closely with on England's failed bid for the 2018 World Cup, and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham. Other rumored invitees include Elton John, a friend of William's late mother, Diana, and Kanye West, whom William selected to perform at a 2007 tribute to Diana.
However, there was one big name left off the guest list: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, a close friend of Diana's. Despite her daughters receiving invitations, her rep confirmed that she would not attend the ceremony.
"Sarah is not going to the royal wedding," he told the Daily Telegraph. "She never expected to be invited. She doesn't think it will be relevant or appropriate for her to attend."
President Barack Obama and other world leaders were also left off the attendance list, although British Prime Minister David Cameron and foreign royal families were included. According to The Sunday Times, this is due to William being second in line to the throne, and not the heir.
Other guests expected to be in attendance when William and Kate swap vows include their college classmates, close relatives of Diana and approximately 1,000 of the couple's other friends and family members.
William's brother Prince Harry will serve as his best man, while Kate's sister Pippa Middleton will fill the role of her maid of honor.
Following the ceremony, the crowd will be whittled down to 600 people for the Queen's lunchtime reception at Buckingham Palace. The celebrations will conclude with a private party that evening for an even smaller group of about 300 of the couple's closest friends.
The invitations, which arrived on doorsteps in pale brown envelopes, read: "The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by the Queen to invite [name] to the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G. with Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on Friday, 29th April, 2011 at 11.00 a.m." They also describe the dress code as "uniform, morning coat or lounge suit."
Networks across the U.S. will air extensive coverage of William and Kate's nuptials, which will take place at Westminster Abbey in London. Some channels have planned a programming blitz for the weeks leading up to the occasion, with everything from documentaries to a biopic about the couple's relationship in the works.