Senior Gulf royals have begun arriving in London ahead of tomorrow’s much anticipated royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton [photos].
Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan was heading to the UK capital for the event directly after holding talks in Washington with US President Barack Obama.
The Crown Prince is amongst a number of Arab leaders now congregating in London, including Sheikh Ahmad Hamoud Al-Sabah of Kuwait, the Emir of the State of Qatar and his wife Sheika Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned; and Prince Mohamed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia.
But Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa said on Sunday that he has written to the Prince of Wales declining the invitation amid ongoing political unrest in the Gulf state.
In total early 2,000 guests have been invited to attend Friday’s wedding, including 40 crowned heads from around the world. For the full guest list, click here.
The Emperor of Japan, the King of Malaysia, the King of Tonga and the King of Thailand are also amongst those invited to witness the couple exchange their marriage vows.
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement was announced on November 16, ending years of speculation about a possible royal marriage.
William, 28, the son of Prince Charles and second in line to the British throne, had been dating Middleton, 29, since 2003. Their wedding day will be a UK public holiday.
The television audience for the royal wedding is expected to attract more than 2.5 billion viewers compared to the 750 million who watched Prince William’s parents, Charles and Diana, marry in July 1981.
The actual wedding ceremony will start at 11am UK time, with the newlyweds due to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony in front of more than one million people at 1.25pm.
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