Obamas not invited to William-Kate wedding

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London:  The official guest list for the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was issued on Saturday, and it contained a mix of family and friends, as well as members of European royal families, and a few big name celebrities.

One obvious omission was Sarah Ferguson, the former wife of Prince Andrew, who has been largely frozen out of the royal family following a series of gaffes and misdemeanours.

The list is dominated by William and Kate's friends and family, together with European royals, leaders of British Commonwealth countries, and members of "the great and good."

Also on the list are people from the charities with which the royal couple are associated.

"Largely it's a traditional establishment wedding," commented AP royal consultant Jennie Bond.

Elton John and David Beckham, accompanied by their respective partners, top a very small list of celebrities.

Elton John was close to William's late mother Diana. And Beckham worked with William on England's failed bid to stage the 2018 World Cup.

Although William's aunt Sarah Ferguson has been omitted, her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie - as fifth and sixth in line to the throne - will be there.

Foreign leaders, including US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, were not invited, but royal officials have explained that the decision shouldn't be seen as a snub.

Aides say the wedding isn't technically a state occasion, as William is second in line rather than heir to the throne - so there's no protocol requiring key world leaders to be invited.

William has found space for all 27 members of his unit at the air base in Anglesey, Wales, where he works as a helicopter pilot.

One of his workmates is Sergeant Keith Best, who's accompanied the Prince on a number of search-and-rescue missions.

"It was a massive surprise when that nice golden envelope dropped through the letterbox," said Best. Altogether some 1,900 people have been invited to the wedding ceremony in Westminster Abbey.



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