Royal wedding guest list: the Beckhams, ‘Mr. Bean,’ Elton John and foreign royals will join Kate and William
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An official guest list for the royal wedding was released Saturday, with celebs Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham, singer Joss Stone, director Guy Ritchie and ‘Mr. Bean’ actor Rowan Atkinson among those confirmed to attend the nuptials of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Oh, don’t forget famed photographer Mario Testino, who snapped the couple’s engagement pics.
David Beckham and William worked together as ambassadors of England’s 2018 World Cup bid, and Ritchie is a friend of the bride and groom; Atkinson is a close friend of Charles, Prince of Wales, the father of the groom; John famously performed a personalized version of ‘Candle in the Wind’ at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997; and Stone performed at the 2007 Concert for Diana.
About 1,900 guests have been invited to the April 29 ceremony at Westminster Abbey, with 600 of them continuing on afterward to Buckingham Palace for an afternoon reception with champagne and appetizers.
St. James’ Palace on Saturday also released the Abbey seating plan. Notably, the Spencer family -- Diana’s relatives, and therefore linked to the groom -- will be seated in the North Lantern with the bride’s family and some of Kate and William’s friends. The royal family, with more than 46 foreign royals seated behind them, will be across the aisle.
Queen Elizabeth II and husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Prince Charles and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; and Prince Harry will be in the South Lantern’s front row. The bride’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton and brother James will have front-row seats in the North Lantern, with the Earl of Spencer and other Spencer family members. The presence on the list of Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain ruffled some feathers, given the recent rough government treatment of pro-democracy activists in that country. Some human-rights activists were petitioning British Foreign Secretary William Hague to rescind the prince’s invite.
Other interesting names on the guest list: John Major, who was responsible for William and Harry’s legal and administrative matters after their mother’s death, and Amanda Berry, chief executive of BAFTA, the organization behind Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars. William has been BAFTA president since 2010.
The list -- selective, not exhaustive -- tips a hat to its plus-ones, noting that certain individuals including those listed above have been ‘invited with their spouses or partners if married or in a civil partnership.’ Guess Elton and David Furnish, who entered into a civil partnership in 2005, may be in the market for a babysitter for new son Levon. Then again, they’ve known for a while that they had an invitation.
Palace officials told the Associated Press that only crowned heads of states are traditionally invited to royal weddings, and that political leaders who are not from the 54-member Commonwealth of nations, such as President Obama and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, didn’t receive invitations.
Also on the list were various British government and defense officials, families of British soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, William’s army colleagues and people who work for William’s charities.
Queen Elizabeth II gave her formal consent to the marriage on Thursday, her 85th birthday.
For the record, April 25, 2011: This post originally referred to Prince Harry as Henry on second mention. Thanks to commenter @Leona for catching the typo.
-- Christie D’Zurilla
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Top photos: David and Victoria Beckham, left; Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean; Elton John and David Furnish. Credits: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images, left; Will Burgess / Reuters, center; Chris Young / Canadian Press, right.
Left photo: The ‘Instrument of Consent,’ the queen’s historic formal consent to Prince William’s forthcoming marriage to Catherine Middleton, is displayed at the Crown Office at the House of Lords in London on Thursday. Credit: Clive Gee / WPA Pool