Dubai: Invites to what some are calling the wedding of the century have been signed, sealed and delivered. And with the possible exception of one, it is unlikely that any UAE residents or citizens will be among the elite 1,900 guests at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Royal invitations, embossed with the monarch's EIIR cipher, were sent out last week, with just about everyone who's anyone hoping to find the prestigious invite in their mail box.
A spokesperson for the British Embassy in Dubai said it is unlikely for British expats in the UAE to expect invites to the April 29 wedding in Westminster Abbey. "All we can say about the Royal Wedding is that this is not a State occasion and the guest list is at the discretion of the royal couple," he said. In layman's terms, it doesn't matter whether you're the President of America or a starving teenager in Mexico. If the Queen doesn't want you there, no political force in the world will win you an invite.
Despite a strong likelihood of having to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton exchange vows on television, hope still floats among Dubai's expats and officials since the British Embassy in Dubai said only "the first batch of invitations has gone out".
According to the spokesperson: "The Embassy would not be getting involved in the invitation process. They [the invites] would go direct from Clarence House to the invitee." And although the former Duchess of York and the Obamas have not been invited, the Queen has sent out the gold-embossed invites to 40 heads of state including, many believe, General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The Daily Mail reported on Monday that guests would include the "King of Jordan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sultan of Oman, the King of Bahrain, Sultan of Brunei and the King of Saudi Arabia." These heads of the state will join the 1,900 invitees at the Westminster Abbey ceremony, which will be beamed around the world.
The invitations are on thick white card, bevelled, gilded and stamped with EIIR in gold, which has then been burnished. The text in black reads: "The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by The Queen to invite xxx to the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G., with Miss Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on Friday, 29th April, 2011 at 11.00am. A reply is requested to State Invitations Secretary, Lord Chamberlain's Office, Buckingham Palace."
Celebrity guests expected to attend include David and Victoria Beckham and Elton John, a friend of Princess Diana - the mother of Prince William.