Prince Harry’s Longtime Friend Wasn’t Invited to Harry and Meghan Markle’s Wedding Reception—and Had Something to Say About It

He thought Harry was prioritizing relationships with celebrities like the Clooneys and Oprah Winfrey.

Tom Inskip
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As the world watched, Prince Harry married Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018, in front of a crowd of 600 guests at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. Some of the boldfaced names in attendance were Oprah Winfrey, David and Victoria Beckham, and George and Amal Clooney; as The Mirror reports, “for some, the church service marked the end of the celebrations, but others were then invited to join the happy couple at St. George’s Hall for a luncheon reception hosted by the Queen. After the lunch came a lavish evening reception, hosted by then-Prince Charles, and the guest list was cut once again, leaving just 200 of Meghan and Harry’s closest friends to party the night away.”

One person was noticeably absent from the party, The Mirror reports—one of Harry’s oldest school friends, Tom Inskip, known as “Skippy.” Skippy was apparently unhappy to have not made the cut for the reception, as Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand detailed in their book Finding Freedom; he let his feelings be known through a cutting comment at brunch the next day. 

Tom Inskip

Tom Inskip at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 2018 wedding

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“Notably absent were Skippy, Harry’s old friend, who had questioned the prince’s relationship with Meghan, and his wife, Lara,” Scobie and Durand wrote. “They were invited to the wedding ceremony and lunchtime reception but didn’t make the cut for the evening bash. At brunch the day after the wedding, Skippy told friends ‘Meghan has changed Harry too much.’ His Eton friend said the prince was awed by the likes of the Clooneys and Oprah. ‘We’ve lost him,’ Skippy concluded.”

According to Scobie and Durand, “Many of Harry’s old friends said that the evening guest list was the prince and his bride’s way of saying ‘these are the people we want in our lives moving forward.’” Earlier in Finding Freedom, the authors explained the struggles Harry and Skippy’s friendship faced after Skippy raised concerns about how quickly Harry and Meghan’s romance was moving, and that Skippy advised Harry to try living with Meghan for a bit “before doing anything more serious.” 

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Getty)

A source told Scobie and Durand that Skippy’s advice “came from a good place,” but that Harry “didn’t totally see it that way.” The source added “It really hurt him [Harry] that someone he was so close to would not trust his judgment.” (If you’ll remember, the beginnings of the still-standing feud between Harry and his older brother, Prince William, had a similar origin story.)

Tom Inskip

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Harry and Skippy’s friendship dates back to their days at Eton; Skippy was known as Harry’s “wingman” by the press in their youth, and he often accompanied Harry to nightclubs and on holidays. The Telegraph reported it was Skippy who organized a party in Las Vegas in 2012—the infamous one where Harry played billiards naked in a hotel suite.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.