So 1,900 of those gilded, gold-stamped royal wedding invitations were sent out last week. While heads of state such as President Obama and President Sarkozy reportedly did not receive one, plenty of others heads -- crowned heads that is -- did. The Prince of Wales' office announced that over 40 members of foreign royal families are on the guest list, although as I've said before, the palace does not customarily release the names of individual invitees.
Of course, as with protocol, foreign royals were first given a heads-up in the form of a save-the-date-fax from the Queen back in January (with the embossed invitations arriving afterwards), and several have already confirmed that they will be attending. So we know that King Constantine, the former king of Greece and William's godfather, will be at the wedding along with Queen Anne-Marie and their eldest son Crown Prince Pavlos. Invitations are extended to the spouses as well (even though it's not mentioned) so expect to see Crown Princess Marie-Chantal, Pavlos' American heiress wife to make an elegant appearance at the Abbey. The former King Michael of Romania and members of his family have also confirmed their attendance back in January.
rown Prince Alexander II of Serbia, who's the Queen's godson, and his wife Crown Princess Katharine sent their RSVP via their official website. The prince is no stranger to London, having been born in Claridge's hotel when his family left German-occupied Yugoslavia in 1941, and went into exile in London. Some Yugoslavian dirt was placed underneath the bed when Alexander was born in 1945 so he would technically be born on Yugoslavian soil, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill declared suite 212 (the room where he was born) at Claridge's to be Yugoslavian territory.
The bulk of the foreign royals invited are from reigning families such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and so on. Queen Elizabeth is close to the other two reigning queens of Europe -- Queen Margrethe of Denmark and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, and they are certain to be invited. I've heard that Crown Prince Frederick and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark have indicated that they would like to attend. The Australian-born Mary, who made Vanity Fair's best-dressed list in 2010, has just given birth to twins last month and no doubt will be getting in shape for the April 29 nuptials.
Queen Sofia of Spain (the sister of King Constantine of Greece) will likely be there as well. Even though they were invited, she and King Juan Carlos did not attend Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981 due to the political furor over the couple starting their honeymoon on the royal yacht from Gibraltar -- a British dependency territory that is disputed by Spain. This time around, William and Catherine will most likely be spending part of their honeymoon on Richard Branson's private Necker Island, so there won't be such diplomatic concerns.
Royal and style watchers are keen to see if Letizia, the Princess of Asturias, who is always one of the best-dressed at royal weddings, and her handsome husband Prince Felipe will be going to London as part of the Spanish contingency. Likewise, it isn't confirmed yet if another heir to the throne, Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his popular wife Princess Maxima will be attending, although I suspect that they will be there. I've had the pleasure of meeting the lovely and down-to-earth Maxima at Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden's wedding last year, and I can tell you she can light up any room with her infectious warmth and friendly manner.