PERHAPS PRESIDENT TRUMP shouldn’t expect a “Harry & Meghan: Save the Date” magnet for his Diet Coke-filled mini-fridge in the White House.
While there’s no official guest list yet for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding in May, it seems likely that if an American president is invited to the happy occasion, it won’t be the current one.
It’s common knowledge that the prince has a warm friendship with the Obamas. The BBC recently aired Harry’s interview with the former president — taped while both were in Toronto this year for the prince’s Invictus Games, a multi-sport event for wounded or injured service members and veterans. Michelle Obama worked with Harry on the 2016 games, and the prince was a speaker at the inaugural Obama Foundation summit. He also made a surprise visit with Mrs. Obama at a Chicago high school.
Meanwhile, Trump once told Howard Stern that before having sex with Princess Diana, he would have demanded that she take an HIV test.
Meghan and Harry, do not invite him.
No one should get invited to a wedding after talking smack about the groom’s dead mother.
For now, Harry is being diplomatically dodgy. When an interviewer asked if Obama would be at the wedding, the prince said, “We haven’t put the invites or the guest list together yet, so who knows whether he’s going to be invited or not. I wouldn’t want to ruin that surprise.”
The only surprise will be if the Obamas weren’t invited.
Still, it’s the possibility of a Trump snub that reportedly has some British officials in knots. The Sun, a UK tabloid, claims “government mandarins” fear a Trump exclusion and an Obama invitation could further erode the now-shaky relationship between the longtime allies.
Of course, Trump is causing that erosion. British Prime Minister Theresa May called the president’s speculation after a London terror attack “not helpful.” She also said he was “wrong” to retweet anti-Muslim videos posted by Britain First, a racist group. When Trump suggested Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, is blasé on terrorism, Khan said Trump should not be welcomed on an official visit.
The president is easily aggrieved. He’ll be apoplectic if his predecessor gets a royal invitation — and he doesn’t. What vengeance he would exact for such a slight reportedly has some British officials pressuring Harry not to invite Obama.
Now, it’s worth noting that there’s no protocol for putting presidents on royal wedding guest lists. In 2011, then-President Obama and his wife were not invited to the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Thirty years earlier, the Reagans were invited to the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding, but only then-first lady Nancy Reagan attended.
Trump doesn’t care about Harry and Meghan, or probably even weddings — heck, he’s had three of his own. But he is a man obsessed with pomp, fanfare, and the bragging rights that will come with attending one of the loftiest social events of 2018.
If Trump is excluded from this high-profile occasion, it won’t be the first time. According to Joe Conason’s 2016 book, “Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton,” Trump fumed when he was not invited to the 2010 wedding of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky — after he had invited the Clintons when he married Melania in 2005.
According to Conason, Trump called Doug Band, an adviser to the former president, and said, “I’m supposed to be at the wedding, Doug. But I didn’t receive the invitation, and I need to know where to go.” Band told him to contact Chelsea Clinton for directions. In what may have been Trump’s last brush with self-control, he didn’t.
Now that Trump is president, he demands deference and accommodation. Never mind that his presence at the royal wedding would be a security nightmare, or that he might shove Prince Philip out of the way to get closer to Queen Elizabeth.
To outsiders, it’s a royal wedding with celebrities, marvelously ridiculous hats, and the kind of old-world grandeur at which Britain excels. For Harry and Meghan, it’s a day to be with those who love and support them. That excludes Trump. If he isn’t invited, we know how he’ll try to spin it. He’ll tweet that the monarchy is failing, and that the crowd of well-wishers can’t match the record-breaking millions who attended his inauguration.
Besides, Trump will probably be too busy anyway — on the back nine at one of his properties where he has spent nearly a third of his presidency, making America great again.Renée Graham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @reneeygraham.