While many celebrities of all strata descended upon the Met Gala 2019 red carpet last night, there were at least a few absences of note.
If you, like most individuals, sat at home with bated breath, refreshing your feed for a glimpse of Rihanna—the undisputed queen of last year’s Met Gala and many Met Galas of years prior—to appear on the carpet in her campiest getup, only to be sorely disappointed when she did not show, you were not alone.
And where was she? Well, according to her Instagram Story, she was at home “playing” with makeup.
Still, Rihanna was not the only notable absence. Her former Met Gala co-chair Amal Clooney couldn’t make it this year because it was her husband George’s 58th birthday. Beyoncé did not show (though her sister Solange did, in a snakeskin ensemble that called to mind the yeehaw agenda). Taylor Swift was nowhere to be seen, nor was Madonna, which is surprising considering they both have albums to promote right now, and there’s no better place to push your pop music than at the Met Gala, apparently.
These musicians have tours to prepare for, too, which could be another reason why Swift did not show, and is certainly a reason why the currently touring Ariana Grande was not there. Selena Gomez decided to go to Disneyland instead of the Met.
Another high-profile celebrity who decided to skip, despite having gone through quite the Met Gala style evolution over the years, is Blake Lively. But she already debuted her baby bump for child number three at the Pokémon Detective Pikachu red carpet last week, so maybe she was wiped out from that.
Speaking of babies, members of the royal family sat this one out, too. It’s understandable for them to decline, considering Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their first child on the very same day as the annual fashion extravaganza. In the past, however, royals have shown up—Princess Diana made an appearance in 1996.
And perhaps two of the most sorely missed were Sarah Jessica Parker, who surely would have done the theme justice, and John Waters, an icon whose work is definitive “camp.”