Were Bill and Hillary Clinton paid big bucks to go? They downright hated his presidency but yet were celebrity guests at Donald and Melania Trump’s wedding – Anna Wintour, Elton John & Gayle King attended.

Celebrities like Elton John, Hillary Clinton, Anna Wintour and Gayle King attended Donald and Melania Trump’s 2005 wedding ... but are they on good terms with the couple now? Photos: EPA-EFE, TNS, Getty Images, AP

More than 15 years ago, Donald Trump got married for the third time. The reality TV star and former US president’s 2005 wedding to Melania Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, was a lavish affair that drew major celebrities including his former-friends-turned-foes like Hillary Clinton and Anna Wintour.

We take a closer look at the surprising guests who showed up to Donald and Melania’s star-studded affair …

British singer Elton John performs during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour at the 53rd Montreux Jazz Festival (MJF), in Montreux, Switzerland, in June 2019. Photo: AP

Elton John
The British music legend, who has a lot of famous friends, performed at Trump’s wedding – but wasn’t keen to be associated with him once he got into politics.

“I don’t really want my music to be involved in anything to do with an American election campaign,” John told The Guardian. (Plenty of other artists objected to Trump using their music on the campaign trail too.) “I’m British. I’ve met Donald Trump, he was very nice to me, it’s nothing personal, his political views are his own, mine are very different, I’m not a Republican in a million years.” He suggested Trump ask a country star to use their music instead.

Elton John and Donald Trump appear to have been acquainted in the past. Photo: @realdonaldtrump/Instagram

Former American national security adviser John Bolton revealed in his book, The Room Where it Happened: A White House Memoir, that Trump tried to have a signed copy of John’s Rocket Man record delivered to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but the star was not pleased.

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Billy Joel performs to a packed Petco Park in May 2016 in San Diego, California. Photo: San Diego Union-Tribune

Billy Joel
The Uptown Girl hitmaker paid tribute to Trump at his third wedding with a track he titled That’s Why The Donald is a Trump. He also teamed up with Paul Anka to serenade him with Anka’s tune Diana. But since then, Joel hasn’t been shy about criticising Trump, calling him a “terrible president” on CBS Sunday Morning in 2017 as he blasted Trump’s reactions to race issues in America and his border policy.

American TV personality Gayle King attended Donald Trump’s wedding to Melania. Photo: EPA-EFE

Gayle King
Sixteen years ago, before her bombshell interviews with the likes of R Kelly and former US president Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey’s best friend Gayle King was one of the Trumps’ wedding guests.

Now that she is a news anchor, King has tried to remain neutral when discussing her former friend in the political realm, but towards the end if his term she criticised his comments about the Covid-19 pandemic and his approach to race issues in the US.

After Trump claimed to be the “least racist person in this room” during a debate with Joe Biden, Gayle quipped that “actions speak louder than words”.

The editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour, attended Donald and Melania Trump’s wedding. Photo: AFP

Anna Wintour
The Vogue boss has schmoozed with Donald and Ivanka Trump for years, and the fashion magazine even featured Melania on the cover to celebrate her wedding. However, Wintour did not support a Trump presidency, according to CNN.

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Vogue’s February 2005 cover starring Melania Trump in her wedding gown from Dior. Photo: Vogue

Melania didn’t appear in Vogue at all during her husband’s one-term presidency after the publication openly supported Hillary Clinton’s campaign. In fact, Wintour has featured current US first lady Jill Biden on the cover already.

Hillary and Bill Clinton attended Donald and Melania Trump’s wedding in 2005. Photo: AP

Hillary and Bill Clinton
After Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001, Trump donated to Hillary’s Senate campaign and, years later, they showed up to watch him say “I do”. But Trump claims he essentially “paid” the pair to attend the nuptials, according to The Daily Beast.

Ahead of his run against Hillary in the 2016 presidential election, he tried to distance himself from Democratic politicians. The former US president told Fox News host Chris Wallace in 2017 that he didn’t understand how his donations would be used. “I didn’t know the money would be used on private jets going all over the world,” he said.

The former White House residents can now hardly be in the same room together.

Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.

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