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Have you got yours? Royal Wedding invitations are in the post!

By Linnie Rawlinson and Mairi Mackay, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Invites to the society event of the year, the royal wedding, have been sent out
  • 1,900 invites in total have been sent, although only 300 are for ultra-eexclusiveevening soiree
  • Swedish and Japanese royal families have said they have been invited
  • Sarah Ferguson, ex-wife of Andrew, Duke of York has confirmed she's not been invited

London, England (CNN) -- Forget Willy Wonka's golden tickets. For Britain's great and good, there's only one envelope that matters -- and the British royal family has revealed that they're in the post.

The marriage of Kate Middleton to England's Prince William, second-in-line to the UK throne, is scheduled for 29 April, 2011 and it's the international society event of the year.

The Palace has announced that invitations were dispatched this week and are now winging their way to their guests. The exclusive gold-bevelled, die-stamped, heavyweight cards have been issued in the name of the Queen. If she posted them herself, it will have taken several trips -- they number around 1,900 in all.

Lucky recipients include William's extended family, Kate's new-money relatives, and their elite network of international friends. The announcement will have the upper echelons of global society camping out by their mailboxes, ready to pounce on the mailman.

Royals mail wedding invitations

"No-one is going to turn one of these down," says royal watcher, Mark Saunders. "You'd have to be the coolest person on earth."

The royal couple's wedding is not officially a state occasion, so the pair have made a point of inviting predominantly friends and family -- around 1,000 in all. Surprisingly, there are only around 40 foreign royals on the list.

While the media has been buzzing with rumors that U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle have been snubbed by the palace, Saunders says, "If they didn't invite the president, they would have a diplomatic incident. It's inconceivable."

Along with the Swedish and Japanese royal families, Saunders expects to see King Abdullah of Jordan and his famously beautiful wife, Queen Rania attend, as well as the Greek royals, because of Philip, Duke of Edinburgh's family connection.

Prince Harry's on-off girlfriend Chelsy Davy is expected to be on his arm on the big day, says Saunders. She's been spotted around London with Kate's sister and maid of honor, Pippa, and William's cousins, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, further indicating that she's back in the royal fold.

Speculation that soccer star David Beckham and fashionista wife, Victoria will attend is still rife, but they are keeping tight-lipped about whether they've had the nod.

Saunders isn't sure: "It would add tremendous glamour, but no matter how big the Beckhams are, they're not as big as William and Catherine," he said. And what bride wants to be upstaged on her special day?

The biggest snub so far is for Sarah Ferguson, William's troublesome aunt.

It would add tremendous glamour, but no matter how big the Beckhams are, they're not as big as William and Catherine
--Mark Saunders, royal watcher
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A spokesperson for the ex-wife of Andrew, Duke of York said: "She never expected to be invited and has not received an invitation." It's not surprising, considering Ferguson dropped yet another royal clanger last year when she was caught on film selling a businessman access to her ex-husband.

On the list, though, are Church of England clerics and representatives from other faiths; representatives from the army, navy and air force; members of local and national government; diplomats and leaders from the Commonwealth; and 80 regular joes who work for William's charities.

But, while some will be surprised and delighted with their envelopes, others might be disappointed with just an invitation to the ceremony at Westminster Abbey -- or even to the more intimate lunchtime reception for 600 at Buckingham Palace.

The most sought-after envelopes, numbering just 300, will hold a third invitation, for the super-exclusive, swanky evening soiree hosted by Prince Charles for his son and new daughter-in-law. These are strictly reserved for close family and friends of the couple. (We'd expect William's ex-girlfriends to be packed off home at this point.)

The couple are expected to decline wedding presents in favor of donations to charity. That hasn't stopped some oddball promises of gifts. According to AFP, cheeky South African low-cost airline Kukula has already offered the Middleton family a traditional gift of cattle on behalf of Kate's prince. Now that's how to milk the Royal Wedding publicity train.

Could receive an envelope: David and Victoria Beckham -- the former England football captain bonded with William on England's failed World Cup bid; French leader Nicolas Sarkozy and wife Carla Bruni; business supremo Richard Branson -- daughter Holly is a friend of the couple.

Not on the list: Diana's loose-lipped former butler Paul Burrell; upper-class cad and former lover of Diana, James Hewitt; Mohamed Al Fayed, father of Dodi, Diana's boyfriend who was killed alongside her in a Paris car crash in 1997; any of William and Kate's former friends who've breached their strict code of silence and dished the dirt on the pair to the media.

David Wilkinson contributed to this story.

 
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