Why the royals always invite their exes to their weddings - and it's complicated

Why the royals always invite their exes to their weddings – and it’s complicated

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It’s one of the most exclusive events of the year, but if your name is not on the list, then you’re not coming in.

A mixture of celebrity royalty, actual royalty and a sprinkling of socialites are pitching up in Windsor for the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston.

Its the third royal wedding in a year, meaning some familiar faces can be seen with one particular gaggle of people known to the royals who are almost guaranteed to score an invitation.

Most of us may prefer to consign our exes to the bin of history, but the royals are different.

Pippa Middleton – who’s fast becoming a fixture at these sort of things – is believed to have been romantically linked to Thomas.

Pippa Middleton and her husband James Matthews

Michael and Carole Middleton, James Matthews, Pippa Middleton and James Middleton

 

Presumably it ended amicably because she’s turned up with husband James Matthews and mum Carole Middleton  (in a nice dress coat, as per usual) in tow.

This isn’t out of the ordinary at royal weddings, exes are frequently seen in the pews at these happy occasions.

We’ve seen Prince Harry’s exes Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas arriving at the royal wedding last May.

Chelsy Davy arrives at the wedding of Prince Harry

Cressida Bonas arrives

 

Yet while many might have thought “rather you than me, Harry”, inviting exes is also a courtesy which William extended in 2011 to his old flames.

These included Jecca Craig, who had a teenage fling with William, Olivia Hunt, who dated William at university before Kate, Rose Farquhar with whom who he had a brief relationship and Isabella Calthorpe, with whom William was thought to have a pretty massive crush on.

Jecca Craig

Isabella Calthorpe and Sam Branson who are now married

Kate’s exes were also out in force, with journalist Willem Marx and lawyer Rupert Finch among the guests.

Rewind back to 1981, and Charles had invited the then Camilla Parker-Bowles to his nuptials, as well as Lady Sarah Spencer – Diana’s sister – who he had also dated. Phew.

So why do the royals seem to always invite their exes to their weddings?

There are a few reasons.

Firstly, William and Harry have remained friendly with many of their exes.

Rupert Finch and Natasha Rufus leave the church after their wedding
Rupert Finch and Natasha Rufus leave the church after their wedding

Chelsy and Harry have stayed friends since breaking up in 2010 after a seven-year romance and she was invited to William and Kate’s wedding.

The royal brothers – and now Kate – belong to close-knit circle where old friends become something more (like Rose Farquhar and Jecca Craig) and who stay in the fold once time has been called on their romance.

Rupert is now married to the Marquess of Reading’s daughter, Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs, who herself is a dear friend of William’s.


Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas
Prince Harry and Cressida Bonas attend England’s Six Nations international rugby union match against Wales at Twickenham in London March 9, 2014

It’s also the gentlemanly thing to do, and a tradition which was set in place by their father.

Also worth taking into account is the fact that William is not the current heir to the throne, so his wedding was considered a ‘semi-state’ occasion, and Harry’s was even less so, so there’s more flexibility with their guestlist.

When you consider that Lady Gabriella is 52nd in line to the throne, then there’s even less scrutiny.

Still, it’s a bit weird, eh?

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