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Snub for Obamas as Royal sources reveal they will not be invited to Prince William's wedding

By Fay Schlesinger

-American President left off the guest list as it is not a 'state occasion'
-Royal couple eager to ask ordinary citizens to attend rather than VIPs
-Heads of State who may attend include Nicolas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni

Uninvited: Royal sources have revealed that President Obama and his wife Michelle are not going to be invited to the Royal wedding as it is not classed as a state occasion

President Obama and his wife Michelle will not be invited to Prince William's wedding next year.

Because Prince William is not yet heir to the throne, his wedding to Kate Middleton is not classed as a ‘state occasion’ – and the couple feel under no pressure to fill the 2,000-strong guest list with heads of state, the Mail understands.

They are more eager to ask ordinary citizens and charity workers than foreign dignitaries and VIPs to what will be the first royal ‘people’s wedding’, courtiers suggested.

A handful of heads of state are likely to be invited in line with previous royal weddings, possibly including France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni.

But the decision to exclude the American premier and his wife Michelle from the celebrations marks a break from tradition.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana invited then-American president Ronald Reagan and his wife Nancy to their 1981 ceremony – though she came alone because the president was too ill to travel following an assassination attempt on him.

A senior courtier said: ‘It is certainly not the case that all foreign heads of state will be excluded. The guest list is still being drawn up and could change, but as things stand it’s right (to say Mr Obama will not be invited).’

A St James’s Palace spokesman said: ‘The wedding will not be a formal state occasion since Prince William is neither the sovereign nor the heir to the throne.’

The decision is an example of William’s single-minded desire to hold the first ever ‘people’s wedding’ by packing the pews with members of the public who have worked with his 21 charities.

'The People's wedding': William and Kate's courtiers have said they are more keen to invite volunteers and charity workers than VIPs to their wedding at Westminster Abbey on April 29

And as William and Kate continue to thrash out the plans for Westminster Abbey on April 29, they are understood to be looking towards the Queen and Prince Philip’s austere 1947 nuptials as a template.

With a post-war Government facing huge cuts, the then Chancellor Hugh Dalton said only the decorations in Whitehall and outside the palace could be funded by the taxpayer.

And the Archbishop of York compared the wedding to that of a commoner ‘married this afternoon in some small country church’.

Conscious of the credit crunch and rising unemployment rates, William has vowed to have a wedding that is not as ‘ostentatious’ as his parents’ St Paul’s Cathedral ceremony, with 3,500 guests.

But the couple still want to encourage a ‘street party’ atmosphere to sweep the country – and Kate’s dress is expected to cost considerably more than Princess Elizabeth’s £1,200 gown, partly paid for with 300 rationing coupons.

A royal aide said: ‘It will be done properly and well, but not in an ostentatious and lavish manner. This time is more analogous with 1947. In 1981 a lot more people were invited to the wedding. The route to St Paul’s was also longer than it is to the Abbey. It was undeniably a bigger wedding.’

Nancy Reagan attended the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana in her husband's absence in 1981 and also received an invite to Prince Andrew's 1986 wedding to Sarah Ferguson - despite that not being a state occasion

A St James’s Palace spokesman said: ‘The couple will be drawing on inspiration from elements of the 1947 and 1981 weddings – there are obvious similarities to both.

They want to strike the right balance between intimacy and providing an occasion that can be enjoyed by everyone.’

In a growing sign of Kate’s formal acceptance into the royal fold, she was invited to the Queen’s annual pre-Christmas lunch with about 50 members of the Royal Family yesterday.

The traditional banquet at Buckingham Palace is reserved for family members – and following her engagement to William following an eight-year courtship, Kate finally counts in Her Majesty’s eyes.

She met many minor members of her new family for the first time, including children who may be among her bridesmaids.

The smiling 28-year-old was seen leaving Buckingham Palace with her fiance and his brother Prince Harry, 26, yesterday afternoon.

The Queen and Prince Philip hosted the sumptuous meal, understood to have been held in the Palace’s Bow Room, with their four children – Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward - and their families.

Among the guests pictured at the palace yesterday were Charles and Camilla, Princess Beatrice, Zara Phillips (sporting a shorter bob haircut) and her brother Peter with his wife Autumn, who is due to give birth to their first child this month.

Edward’s wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, drove their seven-year-old daughter Lady Louise Windsor – tipped to be among Kate’s bridesmaids - to the lunch, while Princess Alexandra and James and Julia Ogilvy arrived with a boot full of Christmas presents.

Also there were Princess Michael of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duchess of Kent, the Queen’s cousin Lord Linley and his family, Lady Sarah Chatto and her son Arthur, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Lord and Lady Nicholas Windsor, and Lady Davina Lewis and her husband Gary.