Hay leaving Obama in shade at Royal wedding

What does William Hay have that President Barack Obama doesn’t? An invitation to this spring’s royal wedding.

The Stormont Assembly Speaker and the First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness will be on the guest-list for the April 29 nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

But as William is neither the reigning monarch nor the direct heir to the throne – he is second in line after father Charles – the wedding is not classed a state occasion.

Therefore heads of state like US President Obama are not automatically included on the guest-list as was the case when Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

The official invitations to the Royal wedding have not yet gone out, but the Speakers’ office at Stormont has received advance notice that he will be receiving an invitation in about three weeks time.

“I would expect the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and Speaker to all be invited, but that’s as far as it will go in terms on the Assembly,” a spokesman said.

“The invitations are being finalised and will be going out in about three weeks time,” said a Buckingham Palace spoksperson.

The final guest-list will total 2,000 - that’s 1,500 fewer than the number invited to William’s parents’ wedding at the much large St Paul’s Cathedral 30 years ago.

The royal couple have also been told that they can invite only 100 people each to the wedding reception at Buckingham Palace in the evening.

When news of the engagement broke last year first Minister Peter Robinson said the wedding would be of interest to people all around the country.

And, asked how the Assembly would be marking the occasion, he said: “Maybe the deputy first minister and I could go along to it.”

William and Kate’s honeymoon will not be anything like as lavish as his parents’ three-month round-the-world trip.

He is only being allowed two weeks off by his employers the RAF.