The Obamas didn’t invite Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Barack’s 60th birthday party because ‘they will go towards William’ amid the family’s rift, Prince Harry’s biographer has claimed.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not attend the lavish do thrown by the former US president at his seven-bedroom £8million holiday home in Martha’s Vineyard on Saturday. It included John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Meghan’s friend CBS This Morning host Gayle King, George Clooney and Jay-Z and Beyoncé.
And according to royal expert and author Angela Levin, who wrote Harry: Biography of a Prince, it is thought that Barack and Michelle, 57, wanted to take a ‘step back’ from the couple out of respect for the Queen.
‘I’m sure that if they say we can only deal with one brother and his wife — you cannot have both because they are so far apart now — they will go towards William,’ said Angela, speaking to The Sun. ‘The Obamas clearly always regarded Harry highly, but I am sure they can see through Meghan.
They may stay around, but they won’t be as pally as they once were.’
The Obamas didn’t invite Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Barack’s 60th birthday party because ‘they will go towards William’ amid the family’s rift, Prince Harry’s biographer has claimed. Pictured, Prince Harry, US President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Prince William, Kate Middleton pose as they attend a dinner at Kensington Palace on April 22, 2016 in London
Prince Harry and US First Lady Michelle Obama laugh as they listen to a music presentation by wounded warriors at the USO Warrior and Family Center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, October 28, 2015
Oprah Winfrey interviewing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on A CBS Primetime Special premiering on CBS on March 7, 2021
The royal expert went on to say that the Duchess of Sussex ‘desperately wanted’ to be among those in attendance.
‘I am told that despite claiming she was unable to attend, Meghan desperately wanted to be the special guest at the Obama’s amazing party,’ she said. ‘But the fact is, Harry and Meghan were never even on the original list.’
The Obamas first met Her Majesty back in 2009 at the G20 summit, and in 2011 the monarch hosted them on a three-day State visit.
When the Duke of Edinburgh passed away in April, aged 99, Obama posted a glowing tribute on Twitter, writing: ‘Through his extraordinary example, His Royal Highness Prince Philip proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness – all in service of something greater.’
His wife also tweeted: ‘Our thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal family, and the British people.’
Speaking about the Queen during her 2019 book tour, Michelle described her as ‘wonderfully warm, funny, elegant and kind and considerate in really interesting ways’.
Despite both Meghan and Harry currently being on parental leave after welcoming their daughter Lilibet in June, the Duchess used her 40th birthday as an opportunity to launch her new 40×40 initiative, designed to encourage women back into work post-pandemic
In 2016, they attended a dinner with Prince William and Kate Middleton at their home, where they were photographed meeting Prince George, then three, who was in his dressing gown ready for bed, before having dinner with the Cambridges and Harry.
Obama publicly threw his support behind Prince William’s Earthshot Prize in October, writing on Twitter: ‘It’s going to take a lot of big-thinking and innovation to save the one planet we’ve got – and that’s why @KensingtonRoyal’s leadership on climate change can make a real difference.’
The Obamas also have a long-standing relationship with Harry, having bonded with him over his Invictus Games – for which they starred in a video with the prince and the Queen to help promote it in 2016.
The following year Harry interviewed Barack in Toronto for his guest edit of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, during which they discussed the risks of social media and the corrosion of civil discourse.
Meghan also made a point of attending Michelle’s talk at the London Southbank Centre in December 2018, with the two women reportedly getting together backstage afterwards for a ‘power meeting’ to discuss their shared passion for girls’ education.
When the Obamas returned to the UK in 2016, they made a point of visiting Kensington Palace where they met Prince George, then three, who was in his dressing gown ready for bed, before having dinner with the Cambridges and Harry
Despite both Meghan and Harry currently being on parental leave after welcoming their daughter Lilibet in June, the Duchess last week used her 40th birthday as an opportunity to launch her new 40×40 initiative, designed to encourage women back into work post-pandemic.
But while a host of celebrities – including Hillary Clinton – were asked to support the project, which asks people to donate 40 minutes of their time to mentoring, the Obamas were seemingly not invited to participate.
And Angela notes that ‘it must be irritating for the Obamas’ that the concept is similar to Barack’s 60×60 birthday appeal, where people were asked to donate 60 dollars, or even six dollars, to a charitable cause.
The comments come after royal expert Camilla Tominey claimed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s ‘conspicuous’ absence from Barack Obama’s 60th birthday party could be a sign their ‘special relationship’ is over.
Despite Obama insisting the event had been scaled back from a guestlist of 500 because of the spread of the Indian Delta variant of Covid, a staff member told DailyMail.com that 300 to 400 people were in attendance.
Page Six, which broke the news of Harry’s multi-million pound book deal, reported Harry and Meghan were ‘not planning to attend’ and suggested the Duke might whisk his wife away for her own birthday celebrations, as she turned 40 on August 4.
Camilla Tominey suggested that ordinarily, you would have expected Harry and Meghan to be ‘front and centre’ of the Obamas’ guest list, however some people within Democrat circles have suggested the Sussexes’ attempts to ‘ape everything the Obamas have done’ since they quit the Royal Family may have ‘jeopardised their once special relationship’.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, she said: ‘Despite the Obamas not attending the Sussexes’ wedding that year, it was thought that the newly California-based couple would be shoo-ins at Obama’s 60th, as prominent ‘progressives’ and new-found members of the US metropolitan liberal elite.’
She claimed a source revealed the Obamas ‘didn’t like Harry attacking his family’ during his and Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.
‘They value family and certainly aren’t the type of people who would want their children talking to the press,’ the insider added.
Meghan made a point of attending Michelle’s talk at the London Southbank Centre in December 2018, with the two women reportedly getting together backstage afterwards for a ‘power meeting’ to discuss their shared passion for girls’ education
Former First Lady Michelle Obama also shed light on her and her husband’s feelings on the public outpouring – during which they accused the monarchy of not supporting them and suggested Prince Charles and Prince William are ‘trapped’ in the system – in an interview with Access Hollywood.
‘My hope is that, when I think about what they’re going through, I think about the importance of family and I just pray that there is forgiveness and there is clarity and love and resolve at some point in time. Because there’s nothing more important than family,’ she said.
The Sussexes have followed a similar trajectory to the Obamas since quitting royal life, having signed a multi-million dollar deal with Netflix to produce their own documentary series.
Harry has also signed a lucrative four-book deal with Penguin Random House – the same publishers used by Obama for his memoir A Promised Land in November last year. In 2018 Michelle published her life story, Becoming.
Tominey suggested the Obamas may be fearful that an association with the Sussexes risks attracting negative publicity.
She added that Harry and Meghan bad-mouthing the royals during their Oprah interview ‘arguably will not have gone down particularly well with a couple that have always put ‘family first.”
Following the Oprah interview and Harry’s book news, some royal commentators have criticised the Sussexes for dishing yet more royal dirt.
There is concern within the Firm that the release of one of the books is reportedly due to come after the death of the Queen – though Harry’s lawyers have said the claim that he is waiting for his grandmother to pass away before releasing one of them is ‘false and defamatory’.