M A I N   N E W S

Obama, Blair & Brown not on WillKat guest list

London, April 24
The full list of 1,900 confirmed guests and the seating plan for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has been released by the British monarchy. Over 200 politicians and diplomats, including David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, are on the list but there are many surprises.

In an apparent snub, two former Labour Prime Ministers, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who had tense ties with the Buckingham Palace, have not been invited to Friday's high-profile Royal wedding in Britain. Also missing from the list are President Barack Obama and French President Sarkozy. Palace officials said that only crowned heads of states and and political leaders from the 54-member Commonwealth of nations were traditionally invited to royal weddings.

A spokesman for St James's Palace said Blair and Brown had not received invitations because they were not Knights of the Garter, like Sir John Major and Baroness Thatcher. However, Labour MPs said it was "surprising" and "odd" that the pair had apparently been snubbed on a "great British occasion".

The relationship between Buckingham Palace and Blair and, to a lesser extent, Brown was marked by tension. Blair's wife, Cherie, refused to curtsy to members of the Royal family, and he was at the centre of a storm over arrangements for the funeral of late Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother in 2002, the report said.

St James's Palace also confirmed for the first time that Bahrain's crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa will be attending, despite British concerns about the treatment of activists there. About 40 other foreign royals from countries including Denmark, Norway, Spain, Thailand and Morocco will be in attendance. Other guests include British government and defence officials, British soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and people who work for William's charities. A wide spectrum of other guests have received invitation, including the postman, pub landlord and butcher from Kate Middleton's home village of Bucklebury, Berks, and the barman from her parents' favourite holiday island, Mustique. Agencies





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