Harry and Meghan Markle wedding: Who will make the guest list?
Sport and movies stars will mingle with British royalty at the wedding of the year.
Guests at the royal wedding are likely to be a glitzy mix of American and Canadian stars, and British royals and celebrities.
Meghan Markle’s family of Suits co-stars will be expected to be among the congregation who will gather to see her say her vows, as will tennis champion Serena Williams.
Actress Sarah Rafferty, who plays Donna Paulsen in the hit US legal drama, has been described by Markle as “not just my Suits sister wife, but my sister”, while her on-screen love interest Patrick J Adams, who plays lawyer Mike Ross, has described himself and Markle as like “brother and sister”.
Markle has a wide circle of close pals. Her best friend and contender for chief bridesmaid is Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney.
Her closest male friend Markus Anderson, who first introduced her to Prince Harry, is also certain to be on the list for the high-profile event.
Mulroney, who runs her own bridal boutique in Toronto, and Anderson, a Toronto-based consultant for private members clubs Soho House, joined Markle and Harry to watch the Invictus Games in Canada in September.
As well as her proud mother and father Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle, other invitees are likely to be Markle’s friends, sports star Williams, actress and musician Janina Gavanka, and Indian actress and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra.
Markle wrote on her lifestyle website thetig.com how she hit it off immediately with Williams after meeting her at a celebrity flag football game in 2014.
“She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was traveling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with just a couple weeks ago in Toronto,” she revealed.
“We are both the same age, have a penchant for hot sauces, and adore fashion, but what connects us more than those things is perhaps our belief in exceeding expectations, our endless ambition.”
Other friends include New York socialite
, former Suits and Mad Men actress Abigail Spencer, author Lindsay Jill Roth, celebrity pilates instructor Heather Dorak, and former Made in Chelsea reality TV star Millie Mackintosh.
As well as Harry’s grandparents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, his father the Prince of Wales and stepmother the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the extended royal family, Harry’s longstanding friends Tom Inskip, Thomas van Straubenzee, Arthur Landon and Guy Pelly will also be invited.
Harry’s brother William is likely to be his best man, with a stag do to organise for party-loving Harry, and nephew Prince George and niece Princess Charlotte will be expected to be pageboy and flower girl – a role they have already performed for their aunt Pippa.
The Spencer family – Diana, Princess of Wales’s brother and two sisters and Harry’s Spencer cousins – also look set to be on the guest list, as will Harry’s Windsor cousins Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, and Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall, the former England rugby player.
A place for the Duke of York’s ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York would be a boost for gaffe-prone “Fergie” after she was left off the guest list for William and Kate’s 2011 wedding, a decision she admitted left her feeling “worthless”.
Those Harry bonded with during his charity expedition to the South Pole such as actor Dominic West and Harry’s Walking With The Wounded team mate Duncan Slater, Ibrar Ali, Kate Philp and Guy Disney could also be asked to attend.
Others could include Harry’s celebrity friends, TV presenters Natalie Pinkham and Ben Fogle, as well as singer Joss Stone.
Harry will also be expected to invite friend and Paralympian David Henson, who captained the British team at Harry’s inaugural Invictus Games, along with others the Prince has met through his sporting competition for wounded, injured or sick former and still-serving servicemen and women.
Depending on how well Harry knows Kate’s family, Carole and Michael Middleton and siblings Pippa and James could receive an invitation.
Tradition usually means invitations for the Prime Minister, leaders of the opposition, religious leaders, representatives from the armed forces and foreign royals.
Harry has also forged a strong bond with former US president Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, through his work with servicemen and his trips to America.