Rather, Her Majesty sat down in the run-up to the big day William and gave him permission to tear up the guest list of the great and good of 777 people whom he or Kate actually knew nothing about. Instead, she said to him, “Get rid of it. Start with your friends and then add those we need in due course. It’s your day. ”
This is the inherent tension when it comes to royal weddings: they are both loving pigeon unions of photogenic people and diplomatic events at the same time. The Queen might have chartered William and Kate, but they still ended up with 20 governors-general, dozen of military bigwigs, and representatives of all major religions attending their wedding.
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When it was Prince Harry’s turn to hitchhike in 2018, things were a bit easier: As a “replacement” and thus probably never head of state, there was less geopolitical necessity and no head of state in sight.
Even so, like the Cambridges, they had guests who reportedly didn’t really know the happy couple. The only difference was that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are a group of celebrities.
The sun was shining over Windsor on May 19, 2018 when 100,000 Royal Philes arrived in Windsor to see Harry marry the woman he fell head over heels for. As the guests walked in, there was the expected breakup of the expanded Windsor clan, all of the morning suits and a friendly smile, and then … Oprah came. And George and Amal Clooney. And James Corden, Idris Elba, David and Victoria Beckham, Tom Hardy, Carey Mulligan, and each of the Mumford & Sons Carey Mulligan is married to.
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The strange thing about all of this is that while the bride came from the world of entertainment, the caliber of stars that came to St. George’s Chapel was a galaxy separate from the one she had inhabited.
Now, a new, somewhat embarrassing story has surfaced about how certain A-listers got there. Write in Airmail, former Vanity Fair Rachel Johnson (sister of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson), the inside website of editor Graydon Carter, has revealed an unflattering story about the great Sussexes day.
Johnson writes, “There is a story in which Carolyn Bartholomew, Diana’s former roommate, was waiting for the wedding service to begin. She turned to the couple next to her and asked how they knew Harry or Meghan from. “We don’t,” the Clooneys answered brightly.
The possible unspoken meaning here is that it wasn’t years of devoted friendship that earned them a coveted invitation, but rather their very, very famous family name.
Then there is Idris Elba, who explained in 2019 how he came to Thu and later hung up at reception.
“So Harry and I hung out a few times through his father’s (Prince Charles) charity – The Prince’s Trust,” Elba told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. “And Harry came to a couple of parties that I put on and he said, ‘Hey man, what are you doing on the date?’ And I said, “Nothing.” He says, “Hmm, would you hang up at my wedding?”
It’s all very charming, but would you invite someone to your “I dos” if you only “hung out” with them “a few times”?
And what about Oprah, a real TV king? Before the wedding, her only connection with the couple was after she invited Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, to her Santa Barbara home. The talk show queen’s arrival at the chapel stunned many on social media that day. A report entitled “Oprah Winfrey arrived at the royal wedding – but people aren’t sure why”.
While it was revealed in 2019 that Winfrey and Harry partnered on a television series about mental health, it is not known whether either couple met the entertainment mogul before their big day. Let’s just call this a bit of a mystery.
At the wedding of the Duke and Duchess, not only was it marked who was there, but who landed on the guest list chopping block.
One person who would have no idea how good Elba’s set could have been (though we just pause for a moment and imagine Camilla shimmering on the dance floor as he started playing Deadset Banger) is Tom Inskip.
Inskip (or Skippy to Mates) has known Harry since childhood and was with Harry on his Las Vegas trip in 2012, which was about a strip pool game that is said to live on in tabloid infamy for a long time. (He was also dating the prince during his 2011 trip to Croatia when the king danced exuberantly in a nightclub pool.)
However, decades of friendship did not mean that Inskip and his wife Lara received an invitation to Harry and Meghan’s glamorous reception. More like the most recent Sussex biography Find freedomThe king’s longtime companion was “particularly absent” and struck off the list after expressing concern about the speed at which the duo’s romance had advanced.
Pro freedom, the Inskips “did not make the cut for the evening event. At a brunch the day after the wedding, Skippy told friends, “Meghan had changed Harry too much.” His Eton buddy said the prince was impressed with the likes of Clooneys and Oprah. “We lost him,” Skippy concluded. Many of Harry’s old friends said that the nightly guest list was the prince and bride’s way of saying, “These are the people we want in our lives to move forward.”
A story published in the British Society’s Bible Tatler Earlier this year reported: “Skippy was invited to the couple’s wedding, along with many of Harry’s old friends, he was ousted from the reception at Frogmore House in favor of great celebrities.”
Look, to be honest, who wouldn’t prefer to have Idris Elba and George ‘Casamigos Tequila’ Clooney at their wedding as a bunch of blue blood relatives who know how to get past port properly and how to get there addresses a marquise correctly? But the look and feel of voting celebrities over old friends isn’t great.
Last year I spoke to Andrew Morton, who wrote in 1992 Diana: your real story, the most consistent royal biography in history, and his view was that the choice of lights invited was something of a strategic power play for the Duchess.
“(She) populated the wedding with A-list Hollywood celebrities who … proved themselves for her by speaking publicly about their criticism,” Morton said. “I don’t think she met Oprah Winfrey (before the wedding). I don’t know if Harry did it. But she invited these people and now she has her own farm.
“She is a new player and left the starting box quickly. Unlike Prince Harry’s friends who are silent, Megan’s celebrity A-list friends, the court of Meghan, are a very elusive court and they are very powerful. ”
Regardless of how a bevy of Academy Awards regulars ended up in the same chapel as the Queen, there have been numerous other reports claiming that Harry’s friendship group has shifted since meeting Meghan. He hunted and fished blue blood and grew up with a private jet flying power clique.
The same Tatler The story goes: “Harry is now less busy with his old Gloucestershire set than he used to be.”
It was also suggested that Harry and Meghan had decided to attend the opening of the Amsterdam outpost of the private members’ club Soho House instead of going to the wedding of Sophie Carter, one of their wedding guests, in Norfolk. (William and Kate were there, though.)
“Soho House was definitely a ‘new Harry’ star and aromatherapy fan,” said Tatler.
According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, this “new Harry” also “abandoned” his old friends over one weekend. In her recently published book Prince Philip revealedShe writes about an alleged incident that occurred during a country house shoot and was told by a source close to the prince.
“Exactly at 9 a.m. all the weapons were waiting at the door to drive off, but no sign of Harry,” writes Seward. “They weren’t sure what to do, so they waited and waited until Harry finally appeared at the door in his bathrobe, looking very embarrassed. His embarrassed explanation was that Meghan didn’t want him to go out with the guns, which was extremely awkward as he was the guest of honor. ‚“
“This is exactly the kind of behavior that made Harry more estranged from his oldest friends,” Seward said Vanity Fair. “This wasn’t the Harry they knew; he would never have let her down. Harry knows how expensive it is and how much time is spent organizing a shoot. It was very rude and the general feeling was incredulous because it was so atypical. ”
It’s hardly anything to worry about these days, given that he and Meghan live in Santa Barbara, the same area Oprah lives in. (What would be the consequence of the West Coast? Forego a silent meditation retreat to go wakeboarding with Elon Musk?)
It is undeniable, however, that the man who stood up in the aisle on this May Saturday and waited for Meghan seems to be a very different person than before. It is difficult to know exactly where the line between healthy adult evolution and growth and a blunt rejection of one’s old life lies.
We hope that the Harry of 2020 has found the happiness he has longed for and given his big smile in recent video interviews. I think maybe he did. After all, these days he can get Idris to stop by and shoot a few tracks whenever he feels like it.
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years experience working on a number of leading Australian media titles.
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