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Official royal wedding list, seating plan released

The Associated Press, Saturday, April 23, 2011, 2:59am (PDT)

LONDON (AP) -- The full list of confirmed guests and the seating plan for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was released by the British monarchy Saturday.

Many of the nearly 1,900 invitees had already been confirmed in the media weeks ago, including soccer star David Beckham and his wife Victoria, musician Elton John and director Guy Ritchie. But others, like soul singer Joss Stone and Mr. Bean actor Rowan Atkinson — a close friend of William's father Prince Charles — were new.

The seating plan for the April 29 ceremony at Westminster Abbey revealed the select few who will witness the ceremony up close. About 1,000 people will sit in the section of the abbey where views of the altar are restricted.

Queen Elizabeth II and other royal family members will sit in the front row across the aisle from the Middleton family. They will be closest to the abbey's sanctuary, where William and his bride will stand.

The Middletons will sit with the couple's friends and Princess Diana's Spencer family.

Royal family members from countries including Bahrain, Denmark, Spain and Morocco will be in attendance. Other guests include British government and defense officials, British soldiers who fought in Afghanistan and people who work for William's charities.

Palace officials said that only crowned heads of states are traditionally invited to royal weddings, and that political leaders who are not from the 54-member Commonwealth of nations, such as President Barack Obama or French President Nicolas Sarkozy, weren't sent invitations.

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