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Don't Worry, Your Highness -- I Screwed Up My Wedding Invites, Too

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Dear Prince William,

You must be hugely excited about getting married, and I know there'll be a lot on your mind, so I won't keep you long.

I envy you the whole business of the vows, choosing the hymns, declaring your love. (You've also managed to shave off some costs on the venue hire, I gather.)

But I certainly don't envy you the public interest in your guest list. When I got married, I was a schoolteacher, and boys kept asking, "Can I come?" It turned out they were serious, and I had to say no quite unambiguously.

We all want to know whom you're inviting because we all want to come. And rumors are going crazy right now. Can it really be that Kanye West can come, and Joss Stone, but not your auntie, the Duchess of York?

Yes, I know it's awkward -- all that schnorring by selling off access to her equally influential ex-husband; the dietary advice; the children's books about helicopters. You never know what she'll come out with.

But then, you've taken a pretty crazy punt on asking your brother to be best man. Don't you just know that, however extensively the Lord Chamberlain vets your speech, he'll slip in some anecdote or innuendo that won't go down so well with, say, the Governor of Canada? Unless there's some dark family feud that you've managed to keep secret (and what could that be?) I think I know why you haven't invited Fergie.

(Oh not that Fergie. If Kanye West is coming, then surely Fergie is.)

You didn't invite her because you plain forgot. Trust me, it happens. I have this second cousin -- and I know that sounds remote -- but I have a second cousin who's wise and funny and used to look after me when I was a baby. And it was after the whole honeymoon that I realized -- I didn't ask Auntie Mary! Such an apology letter I wrote. "Chump" doesn't begin to cover how I felt.

Luckily for you, the British media is on hand to check these things. You just have to say that the letter got lost in the post. (Yes, I know it's your mother's post, but if she's got any sense she's having the invites Fed-Exed or something.) She was always going to come, you tell her.

She's been putting on a brave face so far. She says she was going to be out of the country anyhow. But you need to keep her in the country, not only to limit the damage she can do to British businesses during her excursions, but also to spare the poor girl's feelings. How's she going to feel when she sees you've asked David and Victoria Beckham? It's no use telling her that you got to know David when you were doing England's Soccer World Cup Bid, and that he's a really great guy. She knows the truth -- that he's really a work friend.

It's none of my business, of course, but don't do something you'll regret. The Trojan War started with a bungled wedding list, and, scarier still, so did Sleeping Beauty.

With best wishes for your nuptials, your obedient servant,

Tom