Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle will get married on May 19, 2018 and have told aides they want former U.S. President Barack Obama and wife Michelle at their big day. Prince Harry has become good friendswith the Obamas since their chemistry bonded after the Invictus Games in Florida last year. But as the 33-year-old prince soon found out – being a prince has its limitation.
Initially, the British prince wanted to invite the former U.S. president. Now, he isn’t so sure. While Harry, fifth in line to the throne, clicks with the Obamas, he doesn’t like the current President Donald Trump. Harry thinks Trump is a serious threat to human rights. The problem gets tricky because not only Harry dislikes the U.S. president, both Obama and Trump actually still hates each other.
To make matter worse, Harry’s fiancée Meghan Markle, a liberalist, had made disparaging comments about Mr. Trump, calling the U.S. president a divisive misogynist. Hence, when Harry and Meghan announced their engagement, Barack Obama congratulated and wished the newly engaged couple a “lifetime of joy and happiness” together, but Trump couldn’t care less.
If Barack Obama is still the U.S. president, he would have popped champagne and celebrated as if it was a United States royal wedding because Markle is set to become the first American to be bestowed with the title of Her Royal Highness. Markle is the first American to become engaged to a British royal since Edward VIII, who abdicated in 1936 to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson.
Now, Prince Harry is under British government pressure not to invite the Obamas to his wedding for fear of infuriating President Donald Trump. Britain cannot afford to offend the U.S. by inviting Obama but not a vengeful Trump. It would be a humiliation at the highest level for the U.S. president, whom has not had a chance to meet the Queen, unlike previous U.S. presidents.
It doesn’t help the situation that British Prime Minister Theresa May is having problem engaging U.S. President Donald Trump. Britain’s relations with Trump’s White House have already sunk to their lowest ebb since his election last year. It became so bad that it was exposed that until Theresa May can guarantee a warm welcome in Britain for Trump’s state visit; the U.S. leader wouldn’t fly to U.K.
Trump will be the second U.S. president not to have met the Queen if Theresa May couldn’t fix a warm welcome. The Queen’s reign has seen 12 American presidents in office and she has met all of them except one – Lyndon B Johnson – who took over in 1963 following John F Kennedy’s assassination. Queen Elizabeth II had actually offered an official state visit to President Donald Trump.
London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan had called for the visit to be cancelled but the Queen refused to retract it. The U.K. liberalists or left-wingers apparently couldn’t accept Trump’s executive order on the Muslim travel ban. The weak, clueless and incompetent PM Theresa May, however, surrendered to those who signed a petition to prevent Mr. Trump from being honoured with a formal state visit.
Trump has proven his ability to retaliate against any individual, organization or country dares to embarrass him or his administration. Immediately after United Nations voted against his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – a slap in the face of Donald Trump – the U.N. was immediately slapped with budget cut of US$285 million by the powerful U.S.
Thus, President Trump could respond very badly if the Obamas get to a Royal wedding before he has had a chance to meet the Queen. The United Kingdom, after the stunning Brexit, badly needs a free trade agreement with the United States. A furious Trump could drop a bombshell, putting U.K. “to the back of the queue” if they wanted the trade agreement with the U.S.
The U.S. is the world’s largest economy at US$18 trillion while the U.K. is the fifth largest economy at US$2.9 trillion. For the U.K., the U.S. is their second largest trading partner, accounting for nearly 17% of the value of U.K. exports. But if the dispute between American Boeing and Canadian Bombardier is an indicator, Trump could easily unleash a deadly punishment on Britain economy.
Trump possesses a powerful weapon, as can be seen with the U.S. Commerce Department latest announcement to impose duties of nearly 300% stems from a complaint by Boeing Co that Bombardier had been unfairly and illegally subsidized by the Canadian government. Under the pretext of “America First” and “fair trade”, Bombardier manufacturing plant in U.K. is also affected.
Theresa May had appealed directly to Donald Trump to intervene in the dispute because Bombardier employs more than 4,000 people at its Belfast, Northern Ireland, factories. In fact, U.K. has threatened a trade war with the U.S., warning that it “could jeopardise” future British Ministry of Defence contracts for its aircraft such as Apache helicopters.
But Trump administration didn’t care and recommended the steep anti-subsidy duties on Bombardier Inc’s CSeries jets anyway. Downing Street and Buckingham Palace don’t need a rocket scientist to test if it is worth to further anger and humiliate Trump, a narcissist who likes his ego to be stroked. The U.S. president could easily wreck havoc U.K. economy.
Trump had even mocked and insulted NATO allies – mostly liberals who dislike Trump – that they don’t deserve U.S. protection if they can’t pay for it. Adding salt to injury, the relationship between Trump and May has been a rocky one, with the leaders lashing out at one another during a number of controversies – mostly over Trump mocking and provoking U.K.’s pro-Muslim policies.
It’s in the interest of Britain’s economy that Prince Harry sucks it up by giving Barack and Michelle Obama a miss. This is Donald Trump you’re dealing with. Still, there’s a solution which might work. If Prince Harry stubbornly wants the Obamas at his wedding, he could try invite Trump’s favourite daughter Ivanka, and hope it could pacify Donald Trump.