The Washington Post

Washington’s Joe and Barby Allbritton make royal wedding guest list

Barby and Joe Allbritton at the 15th Annual Business Halll of Fame in 2002. (Rebecca D'Angelo For The Washington Post)

The closest most of Washington will get to the wedding is if they set the alarm to watch the 6 a.m. (EDT) wedding on TV — including President Obama and the first lady, who didn’t get one of the coveted invitations. No snub here: No foreign heads of state made the cut.

So far, we know of only one local couple who’ll be at Westminster Abbey for the nuptials: Joe and Barby Allbritton.

A call to the private media mogul was not returned, but the billionaire owner of WJLA-TV and Politico and his wife are longtime friends of both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. The Allbrittons share a love of horseracing (they own a horse farm in Upperville, Va.) and have donated generously to royal charities. They are so close to the Windsors that they were part of the royal procession at Ascot a couple of years ago; Charles is flying to D.C. in Allbritton’s private jet for an official visit the week after the wedding.

Another of the very few Americans on the guest list: Kip Forbes, son of the late Malcolm Forbes and a close friend of Charles, and his daughter Charlotte.

But the vast majority of guests are people you never heard of — just like non-royal weddings. The palace released an official guide to the wedding Saturday, confirming a few VIP names rumored to be attending: Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham, Guy Ritchie (but not ex-wife Madonna), and Joss Stone. There’s a passel of British and foreign royals, including the groom’s uncle, Prince Andrew, and cousins Beatrice and Eugenie — but not Andrew’s ex-wife Fergie, who blew her last chance for royal favor when she tried to secretly sell access to her ex.

The State Dining Room at Buckingham Palace, where the wedding reception will be hosted by Queen Elizabeth. (Nick Ansell/AP)

“It’s like any wedding — who makes the cut and who doesn’t,” said Robert Higdon, executive director of the Prince of Wales Foundation based here in D.C., which partners with the prince’s British foundation for educational and charitable programs.

Despite his long association with Charles, Higdon’s not going to this wedding and didn’t expect to — only William’s personal staff was invited. But he’s known the groom for 14 years and is thrilled about the bride and the wedding.

“I’ve seen them together,” he told us. “They’re very much in love. He lights up when she walks into the room.”

Isn’t it romantic: The commemorative Pez candy dispensers of Kate and Will (HERWIG PRAMMER/Reuters)

Which won’t stop the romantics/obsessives: Wall-to-wall coverage kicks off in the middle of the night, but the hour before (10 a.m. in London; 5 a.m. in D.C.) is when all the good stuff starts: the groom and Prince Harry arrive at the abbey around 5:15 a.m., Charles, Camilla, the Queen and Prince Philip about 30 minutes later. The first chance to see Kate’s gown may be when she leaves the Goring Hotel for the abbey about 5:50 a.m.; then she and her father will walk down the aisle in time for the hour-long ceremony. Royals don’t traditionally kiss at the altar; the big moment is likely to come a couple of hours later, at 8:30 a.m., when the couple stands on the balcony at Buckingham Palace for an RAF fly-over.

Read more royal wedding coverage:

--Royal wedding haters have had enough

--Royal wedding watch: Examining Britain’s obsession with haute headwear

--Washington Post Blogs: Royal wedding watch

--Video: Thousands arrive in London before royal wedding


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