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poniedziałek, 25 kwietnia 2011
Royal wedding guest list
Fairy tales have taken some beatings, but they never disappear.
"The beautiful princess and handsome prince heading off into the happily ever after is almost imprinted in our DNA," says author Michael Farquhar.
"There's an endless, bottomless fascination with royalty. In Britain, it's an enduring institution. Celebrities come and go, royalty is here to stay."
Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles showed the public just how false a fairy tale could be.
But now their son William - second in line to the throne - is set to marry longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton, all is forgotten.
On Friday, the next royal spectacle occurs.
Anglophiles everywhere will watch England's future king marry his college sweetheart at Westminster Abbey.
For months now, the guest list has kept people guessing.
In keeping with tradition, William and Kate have invited select exes to their big day.
"Since the male members of the Royal Family generally make a point of bedding as many high-born beauties as possible before making the inevitable march to the altar, the pews are generally filled with heartbroken young female aristocrats who, to put it bluntly, didn't make the cut," notes Christopher Andersen, author of William and Kate: A Royal Love Story.
"Camilla was front and centre at Charles's wedding to Diana, after all, as were at least a dozen or more of Charles's exes."
In addition to girl-and boyfriends past, William and Kate's guest list includes celebrities, heads of state, family and close friends.
The friends who've been invited have remained discreet, never broken their silence about the couple, and as a result have been rewarded with an invitation, Andersen says.
"These are the friends they can count on to keep royal secrets."
Here's a look at a handful of high-profile people who'll be there on the big day:
The spare: Now that the heir is off the marriage market, the spare is the most eligible bachelor in England. Prince Harry, 26, was kind enough to make his mother's sapphire and diamond engagement ring available to older brother Wills, who in turn gave it to Kate when they made things official. Nice. That's just one reason why Harry is best man.
William and Harry were close before Diana's death and even closer after, Andersen says. "There is no question that, next to Kate, Harry is the most important person in William's life. No one else knows what they've endured over the years. Harry has also come to regard Kate as the sister he never had. Poignant, really, because Diana desperately wanted a daughter but of course never lived to have one."
With a full head of hair and a face from both parents, Harry cuts a more rakish figure than his elder brother. Perhaps it's easier to be funloving when you don't have the burden of becoming king hanging over your royal head.
The kid sister: Philippa Middleton is Kate's lookalike sib and maid of honour for the big day. Known as Pippa, the 27-year-old shares her sister's long, dark hair and clean smile. Pippa is a party organizer who likes to attend parties: in 2008, Tattler Magazine named her "the No. 1 Society Singleton." She has had lots of boyfriends and may have a new flock of suitors after the world watches her attend to her sister.
Kate's parents: Carole and Michael Middleton were born into Britain's middle class. Long before the phrase "flight attendant" became de rigueur, she was a stewardess and he was a steward and flight dispatcher for British Airways. The couple has three kids; their eldest, Catherine Elizabeth (a.k.a. "Kate") will be marrying up, as they say, on Friday. The Middletons run a mail-order company called Party Pieces from a warehouse near their home in the village of Bucklebury, Berkshire.
The Beckhams: Becks and Posh are royalty in their respective worlds. Why'd they get an invite? "David Beckham met William at the World Cup in Africa and they have been friends ever since," Andersen notes. "Victoria is along for the ride." The Beckhams have been house-hunting in England in anticipation of Baby Beckham's birth. Apparently, even famous people want to be near mum and dad when a baby's coming.
Mr. Bean: Actor-comedian Rowan Atkinson has been goofing off for decades, from history-hopping stints in The Black Adder (later Blackadder) series to his wildly popular TV show, Mr. Bean, which spawned films and a cartoon. Mr. Bean is silly in a British way, with Atkinson emerging as a gangly collision between mime, clown and cut-up. He's a British treasure the same way that Jerry Lewis is an American treasure.
The X-factor: No hard feelings? There must be a few for Jecca Craig and Arabella Musgrave, who were serious love interests of Prince William. When the guy who got away is the man who would be king ... that's gotta hurt. "The reason these young women were invited . is that they have kept their mouths shut," Andersen says. By Andersen's count, William has invited at least seven of his exes. Kate has invited two.
Music royalty: Just a few weeks ago, Sir Elton John was "sweating it out, convinced that he had not been invited," Andersen says. "However, the treasured 'Golden Ticket' to the wedding breakfast being hosted at Buckingham Palace by the Queen finally came through for both Elton and his partner David Furnish.
"Elton is one of the very few friends of Diana's who are invited to the wedding," Andersen notes.
The prime minister: David Cameron is the guy who really runs Britain, and he does it without a crown, a palace or a horse-drawn carriage.
Madonna's ex: Filmmaker Guy Ritchie - the guy behind Sherlock Holmes is a distant (like, sixth) cousin of Kate Middleton.
The Virgin heiress: Holly Branson, daughter of Richard Branson, is a party girl with a brain. The 30-year-old is a pal of William and Kate, often accompanying them to clubs in London.
Random royals: Look for the kings of Tonga, Thailand, Jordan, Malaysia, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia; sultans of Oman and Brunei; the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the emperor of Japan.