A total surprise. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were uninvited to the Queen’s pre-funeral reception. The last-minute decision was something that they found out along with the public.
According to a report from the UK’s Telegraph, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were uninvited to a reception held by King Charles II and Queen Consort Camilla, for world leaders and foreign royals. The outlet reported that only working British royals are welcome. However, according to Page Six, a royal source revealed that “Harry and Meghan actually got the invitation and no-one has actually told them they are uninvited.” Another source told the outlet, “I’m told they only found out they were uninvited by reading press reports.”
Prince Harry was en route to Balmoral Castle, Scotland during the Queen’s final moments to be with his family. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it in time, according to People. Since then, Prince Harry has been involved in the week-long ceremonies with his family as well as the newly appointed King Charles III, to lay his grandmother to rest. For the first time in a while, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle reunited with Prince William and Kate Middleton to pay their respects to the Queen in public. The newly appointed Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were together looking at the tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.The couples who were wearing all black looked fondly at the flowers and messages of support to the Queen and her family. “We are all very grateful – both sides putting all things aside for the Queen,” a Royal source told Page Six.
As well as not being invited to the reception, Harry could not wear of his military uniform during his grandmother’s funeral procession. Since he stepped down from his royal duties in 2020, Prince Harry is a non-working member of the Royal family. Because of this, he cannot wear his military uniform despite serving in the military for 10 years. British military personnel are usually not allowed to wear their uniforms unless they are in an honorary appointment and had been authorized to wear one. In place of this, they wear their military medals pinned to civilian clothes. Prince Andrew is also not wearing his military uniform because he was stripped of his title in 2020. However, Prince Andrew will wear his uniform as a “special mark of respect for the Queen at the final vigil,” according to King Charles.
Harry also made a public statement on his charity Archewell’s website to honor his grandmother and remember the fond memories they had together. “Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings — from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my commander in chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren. I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over. And as it comes to first meetings, we now honor my father in his new role as King Charles III.” He also mentioned how she and her husband Prince Philip are reunited. “We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace.”
For more about the British royal family, check out Sally Bedell Smith’s 2012 biography, Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch
. The New York Times bestseller, which includes the “real story” behind several storylines featured in Netflix’s The Crown, follows Queen Elizabeth II’s life from her childhood as the “heiress presumptive” to her father, King George VI; to the moment he met her husband, Prince Philip, when she was 13 years old; to her ascension to the throne at 25 years old in 1952. Elizabeth the Queen, which also includes interviews with Buckingham Palace sources and never-before-revealed documents, provides a deep dive into the Queen’s legacy as one of the most famous monarchs in recent history.