When Prince Harry marries American Megan Markle next May, the whole world will be watching. The global elite is expected to be on the guest list with one big exception – President Trump and his wife Melania.
That isn’t what is causing controversy, however, as the prince and his American actress fiancee have both made their distaste for Trump and his policies public in the past.
What is controversial is the Prince’s desire to invite his friends Barack and Michelle Obama, because of very valid concerns that such a move would send Trump on another of his many temper tantrums and hurt already tenuous relations between the U.S. and its oldest ally, the U.K.
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“Government mandarins are urging Prince Harry not to invite the Obamas to his wedding,” reports The Sun, a London tabloid, “for fear of infuriating Donald Trump.”
“The property billionaire does not hide his loathing of Mr. Obama,” adds The Sun, “and is expected to be enraged if his predecessor gets the coveted call up when he won’t.”
Technically, the British government cannot order Prince Harry not to invite Obama, or, for that matter, to invite Trump. It will not officially be a “state” event like a royal funeral or a state visit by the head of a foreign government, but the Royal family is known to be sensitive to what the top leaders are saying.
According to the Sun what the Royal family is hearing is that “There are deep fears among senior Foreign Office and No. 10 [the Prime Minister’s resident address] that another perceived national snub will make it impossible for [British Prime Minister] Theresa May to meaningfully engage with Trump.”
As it is, although May was among the first world leaders to visit Trump after he was elected, things have not gone well since. Trump’s racist policies and outrageous tweets have raised the ire of not only May but a wide range of British politicians.
May expressed her outrage this fall after Trump retweeted a far right wing British group that is openly Islamaphobic, led by Jayda Fransen.
“Theresa May’s spokesperson said it was ‘wrong’ for the President to share Ms. Fransen’s tweets, sparking a diplomatic spat that saw Mr. Trump return to Twitter telling her to concentrate on sorting out ‘radical Islamic terrorism.'”
More recently, May condemned Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jeruelseum, because of the troubles, anger, and riots it would – and did – cause setting back efforts to reach a peace accord there.
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Shortly after Trump was elected, while on her visit to Washington, May invited Trump to visit the U.K. but it has been put off over concerns that there would be tremendous protests in the country, which would then lead to violence and could cause embarrassment for Trump.
Trump has also been invited to London for a “working visit” early next year to see the new U.S. Embassy but that also has not yet been scheduled.
It should be noted that it is not just some radical fringe that opposes a visit by Trump. On December 15, the London City Council passed a formal motion calling on the British government to revoke its official invitation to Trump for a visit.
If Trump does come to London on an official state visit, it is unlikely he will be given the same honor President Obama received, nor will he be invited to address the Houses of Parliament.
In a personal message, Commons Speaker John Bercow said last month that he and a majority of the elected officials would veto an appearance by Trump because he “does not deserve the honor” due to his outrageous views on race and Islam, among other things.
While Prince Harry, his bride, and family technically could invite Obama or anyone else they want, it is considered unlikely that they will do so.
The Sun quotes a “senior” U.K. government source who said that “Conversations are ongoing about (inviting the Obamas) and ministers will eventually have to decide. If the PM lays down the law, Harry will just have to suck it up.”
Nobody is suggesting that Trump and his wife will ever be invited to attend.
While this is a lot of noise about something that may not seem that important in a world filled with such huge problems as the threat of nuclear war, economic relations, global terrorism and more, it is a troubling sign that Trump and his policies are deeply disliked in the U.K. and, for that matter, in much of the civilized world.
Trump has become a global problem and an embarrassment, and his reign has undermined the U.S. role as a moral and political leader around the world.
Trump may not agree, but there is little doubt Prince Harry would say the same.