Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country

The representatives of oppressive regimes on the guest list to the royal wedding is an embarrassment to this country writes Dominic Browne.

Royal wedding invitation

The Syrian ambassador’s invitation to the royal wedding has been withdrawn, following brutal crack-downs of anti-government protests in the country. The Foreign Office said his presence would be “unacceptable” and that Buckingham Palace “shared that view”.

The country’s ambassador, Dr Sami Khiyami, was summoned to the Foreign Office on Tuesday after Syrian security forces opened fire on protesters. BBC News 24 have reported 500 people have been killed so far.

This is the latest in a line of highly worrying invitations to the wedding. Britain has already withdrawn invites for Libya and Malawi, and the crown prince of Bahrain withdrew his previous acceptance following similar crack-downs on pro-democracy protests there. 

The BBC have quoted the Foreign Office as saying:

“An invitation does not mean endorsement or approval of the behaviour of any government, simply that we have normal diplomatic relations with that country.”

“In the light of this week’s attacks against civilians by the Syrian security forces, which we have condemned, the foreign secretary has decided that the presence of the Syrian ambassador at the royal wedding would be unacceptable and that he should not attend.”

As Left Foot Forward have previously reported there are still people on the list that the Foreign Office should not wish to enjoy “normal relations” with, such as the king of Swaziland. King Mswati III is the last absolute monarch in Africa, in a country where:

“Political parties are banned, trade unions are massively restricted and the country scores lower than Zimbabwe for its political rights.”

The anti-monarchy campaign group Republic heavily criticised the inclusion of royals from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia (whose troops were called in to help Bahrain suppress pro-democracy protests), Oman, Brunei, Qatar, Swaziland, Lesotho, Bhutan and Kuwait.

Republic chief Graham Smith said: “This guest list reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of tyrants and their cronies”.

With royal family occasions there is always a code of protocol and diplomacy to follow but surely human rights trumps that? At a time when dictators all over the world are under massive scrutiny in the wake of the Arab Spring, why would we want to give such people a PR boost by treating them to our hospitality and sitting them next to our political and cultural leaders in front of the world’s cameras?

Patricia Yates from Visit Britain told the BBC:

“This is a show case for Britain,.. this is Britain’s moment.”

What aspect of Britain should take precedence in this “showcase” – our commitment to human rights, or our tragic history of supporting dictators in the name of diplomacy and realpolitik?

37 Responses to “Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country”

  1. Mehdi Hasan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  2. Keith White

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  3. dan carrier

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  4. Jude

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  5. Iain Carson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  6. Hana Tantra

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  7. Tom Youll

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  8. Jamie Brown

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  9. peter beaumont

    Not that I care which dreadfuls go to suck up to the aristos BUT – wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country http://t.co/SlB15Ji

  10. Andy S

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  11. The Moor

    RT @leftfootfwd Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  12. Chris

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  13. Alveina amjad

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  14. Sohail Anjum

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  15. Zafar A

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  16. Syed Zafar Abbas

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  17. Highlander

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  18. Stephen Champney

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  19. AltGovUK

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  20. Niall Rowlands

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country http://bit.ly/kAvXUC

  21. Ell Aitch

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  22. megan

    i hope you you have a lovely wedding and please coulkd you invite me please pleasze please.

  23. Ella Williams

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  24. Keith Ruffles

    The fact that we still have a monarchy – reinforcing as it does the notion that society still considers birth more important than ability or merit and that heads of state should be democratically accountable – is an embarrassment in itself…

  25. Keith Ruffles

    *That should read ‘unaccountable’…

  26. Dave Citizen

    Little by little the “royal” fantasy world that has been pulled down over our eyes is letting the light through.

  27. Mr. Sensible

    keith, the only head of state that has any real political power is the Prime Minister. The monarchy is constitutional.

    And frankly I would rather have that than a presidencial system like the USA, where at the moment the government over there seems to be on daily survival mode.

    On this, I think there’s a difficult balance to be struck in deplomacy; we must condemn human rights abuses, but I don’t think it is in the interest of British nationals who may be living in these countries to completely sever ties.

  28. caroline napier

    Why dont all the Monachy bashers shut up. The Monachy is an institution that has been part of our heritage for centuries, and the continuity is something that people value.
    What other 85 year old woman puts in a full days work? Our Queen does and I think will do so whilst she is physically capable.
    She has served her people for decades and never a word of scandal, not a blemish on her good name.

    What many in this country seem to forget about the royal wedding is apart from being a state occassion, it is the wedding day of two young people. I say let them enjoy it, and anyone that doesn’t like it…emigrate.

  29. chris star

    Come on people,The Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country
    http://j.mp/lu4UZn
    #royalwedding #Syria #Libya

  30. Vegan Panda

    RT @unitonehifi: Come on people,The Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country
    http://j.mp/lu4UZn
    #royalwedding #Syria …

  31. Keith Ruffles

    Mr. Sensible – if the monarchy is merely ‘constitutional’ and enjoys no real political power that is surely another argument for doing away with royalist insitutions altogether. Otherwise what’s the point? And how is this system better than a purely republican form of government?

    Besides, this whole article is suggesting that the royals aren’t completely moribund in their ability to influence politics. Has this wedding invitation list not already created the potential for diplomatic spats with those nations at risk of being ‘snubbed’?

  32. Neale Upstone

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country http://bit.ly/kAvXUC

  33. Frodo doe Low

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  34. Nick Pratt

    RT @leftfootfwd: Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx writes @dbr1981

  35. Rahul Kumar

    It is a shame that in this modern world we have a royal family in the UK that has achieved its position based on a colonial past full of tyranny and oppression on millions of people. They just provide fodder to the media. We need to end this media circus.

  36. Robert

    As Left Foot Forward have previously reported there are still people on the list that the Foreign Office should not wish to enjoy “normal relations” with, such as the king of Swaziland. King Mswati III is the last absolute monarch in Africa, in a country where:

    “Political parties are banned, trade unions are massively restricted and the country scores lower than Zimbabwe for its political rights.”

    Is this why they did not invite Blair and brown two war barons and one lier.

    The problem is the Unions in this country are down trodden and the Labour party did sod all to help them except of course threats to take Unions to court over the political fund the Labour party felt was theirs, what a bloody nerve.

  37. Daniel Pitt

    Royal wedding guest list is an embarrassment to the country: http://bit.ly/jREiNx #sponsorsofterrorism #fuckthemonarchy

Leave a Reply