Royal wedding links Royal families

Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia
and the Romanian royals say they’re among the hundreds of privileged guests
expected at the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and his fiancée Kate
Middleton in London on 29 April.

Formal invitations to the widely
anticipated event aren’t expected to go out until February.

But the Romanian royal Crown Prince
Alexander of Serbia said in a statement posted to his website that he and his
wife, Crown Princess Katherine, had also been invited.

“Their Royal Highnesses are
delighted to attend the marriage and are very happy for the young couple,”
the statement said.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether
any other European royalty had already received an informal save-the-date for
the wedding at historic Westminster Abbey.

A British royal spokeswoman
declined to comment on the guest list, which is still being finalized.

Neither Alexander nor ex-King
Michael, who heads the Romanian royal family, are current heads of state.

Alexander’s family fled the Balkans
when the Nazis invaded in World War II, while Michael was forced to abdicate in
1947 as the communists tightened their grip on Romania.

But their announcements underscores
the strong relationships still maintained among European royals, many of whom
have been linked by decades of intermarriage.

They also highlight the links
between Britain – whose monarchist tradition still runs strong – and ex-ruling
families from countries whose relationship with their royals have been a bit
more tangled.

Michael, for example, is a
great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria, a third cousin of Britain’s current
monarch Elizabeth II, and a first cousin of Elizabeth’s husband Philip, with
whom he spent childhood summer vacations on the Black Sea coast.

Michael was also a guest at Queen
Elizabeth’s wedding to Philip in November 1947.

Alexander, whose family eventually
settled in Britain during World War II, was born at a suite at London’s
exclusive Claridge’s Hotel.

He studied at British schools,
joined the British army, and even married his current wife in London, in 1985.
His best man was former King Constantine of Greece – a distant relation of

Elizabeth II, who attended
Alexander’s baptism at Westminster Abbey in 1945, is the Serbian prince’s