Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 2:22 AM ET, 01/ 4/2011

Sorting out the guest list

By Autumn Brewington

The Telegraph published a lengthy article by biographer and historian Hugo Vickers on the "secrets" and complications of assembling a guest list for a royal wedding. While the big question is who will be invited to the ceremony uniting Prince William and Kate Middleton, the bulk of the piece focuses on diplomatic complications behind the guest list of another royal wedding: that of Princess Alexandra to Angus Ogilvy.

Princess Alexandra is the queen's cousin and the daughter of the late duke of Kent; she married Ogilvy in Westminster Abbey on April 24, 1963. Vickers attributes his vignettes to an "eye-opening" recent trip to the National Archives, writing that:

Through her mother [Princess Marina], Princess Alexandra was related to most of the Royal Houses of Europe. Together, they personally invited more than 100 royal relations. In addition, Princess Alexandra had travelled widely before her marriage, including to Thailand, Cambodia, Japan and Burma, so besides royal relations and friends, she wanted to ask those who had entertained her on her foreign royal tours.

At this point, the Foreign Office got involved, copious memos passing between Sir Philip Hay, Princess Marina's Private Secretary, and the long-suffering Vice-Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, Dugald Malcolm, a man adept at pouring diplomatic oil on troubled waters.

It's an interesting historical take, with a few tidbits such as the claim that the Spencers were allowed only 30 personal guests to the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. But when we see easy errors -- Diana's father was Earl Spencer, not Lord Spencer, for instance -- we wonder how much stock to put in other assertions, such as the number of personal Spencer guests or the claim that Johnny Spencer wanted to wear a uniform to walk Diana down the aisle and his daughter "forbade it."

By Autumn Brewington  | January 4, 2011; 2:22 AM ET
Categories:  Ceremony, Guest list, Kate Middleton, Prince William  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Weekend mini-roundup
Next: A royal-tinged romance?

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company