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Harry and Meghan “uninvited” from reception for world leaders


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Prince Harry and Meghan are expected to miss one of the biggest gatherings of world leaders and dignitaries in history after they were reportedly “uninvited”.

King Charles will host a reception at Buckingham Palace for heads of state and members of the royal family who will attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are believed to have originally been invited to the event on Sunday (local time), but a number of outlets are reporting that the palace is now saying the reception is “for working members of the royal family”.

In 2020, the couple stepped down as members of the royal family and live in California doing private paid work.

Since returning to British soil, Harry and Meghan have been closely followed by the media as an added note to major events since the Queen’s death.

Harry and Meghan attended the Queen’s ceremonies. Photo: Getty

The Duke joined his brother William and cousins for a historic vigil at his grandmother’s coffin in Westminster Hall and received special permission to wear a military uniform.

Harry, who has seen action on the front line during two tours of duty in Afghanistan, has previously been denied the opportunity to wear military uniform when grieving in public because he is no longer a member of the royal family.

But royal sources said the king had decided his youngest son could wear the vigil uniform.

Although Harry is a former army officer, he has been in civilian clothes for official events, including walking behind the Queen’s coffin on Wednesday.

Prince Harry was in civilian clothes for the coffin. Photo: Getty

Presidents, prime ministers and monarchs from around the world are arriving in London to pay their respects and attend a reception at Buckingham Palace to be hosted by King Charles the day before the funeral on Monday.

US President Joe Biden is reportedly en route to join leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron.

Heads of state and other senior foreign dignitaries will be asked to gather at the Royal Hospital, a nursing home for veteran soldiers in west London, and are expected to travel in groups to Westminster Abbey, a senior Buckingham Palace official said.

The funeral will be one of the biggest police events in UK history as world leaders, kings and queens and huge crowds from home and abroad will descend on London for the event.

King Charles and Camilla, the Queen consort, will host a reception at Buckingham Palace on Sunday (local time), an official state event before the funeral.

Charles and Camilla will host world leaders at Buckingham Palace.

Foreign dignitaries coming to the UK will also be invited to visit the Queen in the Westminster Hall of Parliament before the funeral.

Immediately after the funeral on Monday, British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley will host a reception for guests at nearby Church House as members of the royal family head to Windsor for the Queen’s funeral.

While the dress code at the funeral depends on Buckingham Palace, British diplomats advise foreign attendees to wear dark formal clothes, although national dress can also be worn.

Military personnel will be able to wear formal clothes – with or without swords.

Great Britain has sent invitations to the leaders of almost all countries in the world, except for Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Russia, Belarus and Myanmar.

Syria and Venezuela are not invited because the UK does not currently have diplomatic relations with these nations.

Afghanistan was not invited due to the current political situation, the source said.

Russia and Belarus are not invited to send their representatives because of the invasion of Ukraine.

In total, Foreign Office officials hand-wrote about 1,000 invitations to the funeral and reception with King Charles on Sunday.

China is expected to be represented by Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan.

The UK government will not release a list of all the foreign leaders who will attend, partly for security reasons.

Politicians who will also attend include European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Indian President Draupadi Murmu.

Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral will be shown in around 125 cinemas across Britain, while parks, squares and cathedrals will also set up screens to watch the big ceremonial event.

The funeral service at Westminster Abbey and associated processions around London will also be shown live on BBC, ITV and Sky television, according to the UK government’s Department for Culture.

– from AAP


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