There were a lot of A-list names at Barack Obama’s 60th birthday party last weekend, but many royal watchers were surprised that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle weren’t in attendance at the festivities. With so much fuss made about the Sussexes’ Hollywood and political connections since they’ve made the move to the U.S., it is curious that the two couples might not be as close as the public thinks.
Royal expert Camilla Tominey raised some interesting questions in The Telegraph suggesting that Meghan and Harry should have been “front and centre” with the Obamas in Martha’s Vineyard. “Despite the Obamas not attending the Sussexes’ wedding that year, it was thought that the newly California-based couple would be shoo-ins at Obama’s 60th, as prominent ‘progressives’ and newfound members of the US metropolitan liberal elite,” she wrote.
Prince Andrew is being sued over reported sexual abuse allegations under the Child Victims Act. His longtime accuser, Virginia Guiffre, wants to hold Prince Andrew ‘accountable’ for his actions. https://t.co/i5fwYOm0n8
— SheKnows (@SheKnows) August 11, 2021
We agree that they seem like an obvious invite, but Tominey claims a source told her that the Obamas chose to leave the royal couple off the list because they “didn’t like Harry attacking his family.” Well, then why was Oprah Winfrey invited to the soirée? She also was a part of that March interview — that reasoning doesn’t hold up. And we have to remember Meghan just gave birth to Lilibet, so travel may not be on their agenda right now, especially with the Delta variant causing concern.
But the ties that Prince Harry and Meghan have with the former First Family may not be as tight as people believed due to recent events. Michelle Obama wasn’t on the list of mentors for Meghan’s 40th birthday initiative, 40×40, last week, even though other Obama-adjacent celebs participated like Amanda Gorman, Gloria Steinem and Dr. Nadine Burke Harris. Michelle seems like she would be top name to get for a mission that seems aligned to the Obamas’ beliefs. And the Obamas were one of the first public figures to welcome Kate and William’s son Louis in 2018, but we didn’t see a congratulatory message for Lilibet.
And we all know that politics and the palace go hand in hand — we’ve recently seen the senior royals participate in the G7 summit earlier this year, and Kate Middleton and Prince William worked on the same St. Patrick’s Day project for Irish citizens with President Joe Biden. So while the royal family runs deep into U.S. politics, it’s possible that the Obamas and the Sussexes aren’t BFFs just because Meghan and Harry are stateside now. Or it’s entirely possible that the duo was invited, but declined to attend because they’ve been on parental leave. It could be as simple as that.
Before you go, click here to see Meghan Markle’s best fashion moments as a royal.