Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Apparently Sent an Invitation to Attend a Palace Reception—Then Find Out They’re Uninvited by Reading Press Reports

What is going on here?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty)

When it comes to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship with the royal family, it seems to be a game of one step forward, two steps back.

Yesterday, in what has been described as a “U-turn” decision, King Charles III did allow his younger son Prince Harry to wear his military uniform to honor his grandmother the Queen at a vigil, despite Harry no longer being a working member of the royal family.

But now, this: despite initially being invited to a pre-funeral reception tonight at Buckingham Palace for world leaders and foreign royals (think French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Joe Biden), Harry and Meghan Markle were blindsided and uninvited, according to multiple sources—apparently finding out about their snub in the media, the same way the rest of us found out.

The reason? The old “working royals only” line. The Telegraph reports, per Page Six, “it remained unclear why [Harry and Meghan] were ever invited,” with sources saying the couple “appeared baffled” by the apparent mix-up. The Sussexes were announced as expected guests alongside other senior royals, Us Weekly reports; King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, are the hosts of tonight's event.

“A Palace spokesperson has reiterated this morning that Sunday’s state reception is ‘for working royals only,’” royal expert Omid Scobie tweeted yesterday, per Us Weekly. “No further comment or guidance on why the Sussexes were invited (and now seemingly uninvited).”

Rubbing salt in the wound, Page Six reports that Harry and Meghan found out about their rebuff in the press, with a source telling the outlet “Harry and Meghan actually got the invitation, and no one has actually told them they are uninvited.” A second source added “I’m told they only found out they were uninvited by reading press reports.”

Will the drama ever cease?

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.