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Comment 16 MAY 2012

Guess who's coming to lunch at Windsor Castle

16 MAY 2012

The Queen is known for being a meticulous hostess who prides herself on personally checking place settings and decorations before banquets.

Well, if the monarch lingers rather longer over the last-minute checks at Windsor Castle on Friday, it's because the guest list is even more exclusive than usual.




As part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations crowned heads of state from around the world will descend on the Queen's favourite residence, draped in all their royal regalia.

Expect to see dazzling tiaras, gems and diamonds as they congratulate one of the most famous members of their club.

This elite group rarely gathers – the last time was for the Queen Mother's funeral in 2002 and then for the Golden Jubilee lunch in the same year.


This time all the Windsors including Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge will be on hand to help welcome kings, sultans and princes.

Palace aides have not published a roll call of guests, but the 78-year-old Emperor of Japan has already set out.

His attendance is all the more amazing since he recently had heart surgery. 

There are question marks over the attendance of Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej and King Juan Carlos of Spain, who have both had health problems.

Royal watchers will have plenty to interest them, though.



Some newer faces are more than likely to be there.

Bhutan's popular King Jigme Khesar Namgyel, crowned in 2006, will, no doubt, turn out with his beautiful young bride Jetsun.

The couple, sometimes described as the William and Kate of the Himalayas, had a colourful four-day wedding attended by their entire nation last year. 

And Prince Albert of Monaco, whose own nuptials to South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock also hit the headlines, will have received an invitation as well.

The Queen: A royal life in pictures

The Queen's colleagues by year of succession

  • 1946 Thailand: King Bhumibol Adulyadej
  • 1952 United Kingdom: Queen Elizabeth II
  • 1977 Brunei: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah
  • 1970 Oman: Sultan Qaboos bin Said
  • 1972 Denmark: Queen Margrethe
  • 1973 Sweden: King Carl Gustaf
  • 1975 Spain: King Juan Carlos
  • 1980 Netherlands: Queen Beatrix
  • 1986 Swaziland: King Mswati III
  • 1989 Japan: Emperor Akihito
  • 1989 Liechtenstein: Prince Hans-Adam II
  • 1991 Norway: King Harald V
  • 1993 Belgium: King Albert II
  • 1995 Qatar: Emir Hamad bin Khalifa
  • 1996 Lesotho: King Letsie III
  • 1999 Bahrain: King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
  • 1999 Jordan: King Abdullah II
  • 1999 Morocco: King Mohammed VI
  • 2000 Luxembourg: Grand Duke Henri
  • 2004 Cambodia: King Norodom Sihamoni
  • 2005 Saudi Arabia: King Abdullah bin Abdul'aziz
  • 2005 Monaco: Prince Albert II
  • 2006 Bhutan: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel
  • 2006 Kuwait: Emir Sabah al-Ahmad
  • 2011 Malaysia: King Abdul Halim
  • 2012 Tonga: King Tupou VI


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