Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Will Not Attend the Royal Reception: ‘It’s for Family Members Who Work’

Karwai Tang/WireImage Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will not attend a Buckingham Palace banquet for foreign leaders heading to London for Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.

While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were previously invited to the event on Sunday, the palace has now stated that the reception is only for “working members of the royal family.”

The reception, which will be hosted by King Charles and Queen Camilla, will greet heads of state and official overseas visitors who have travelled to London for Queen Elizabeth’s state burial on Monday. The ceremony is expected to draw around 2,000 individuals to Westminster Abbey.


BEN STANSALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Prince Harry will join his seven cousins in holding vigil around Queen Elizabeth’s coffin in Westminster Hall on Saturday evening, where it has been lying in state and visited by thousands of mourners since Wednesday.

Although it was previously announced that only working members of the royal family with military rank would wear their service uniforms for the Queen’s funerary events, Prince Harry, who served two tours in Afghanistan during his 10-year career in the British Army, will wear his military regalia for the vigil.


The update comes “at the King’s request,” according to a palace source, and the decision was made without Prince Harry requesting a change, PEOPLE has learned. The Duke of Sussex was prepared to wear whatever was asked, PEOPLE understands, and his focus is on honoring his grandmother.


Prince Harry, who turned 38 on Thursday, and Meghan, 41, had traveled to Europe from their California home for a series of charity events when Queen Elizabeth died on September 8.


Darren Fletcher – WPA Pool/Getty Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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Meghan and Harry visited Prince William and Kate Middleton at Windsor Castle on September 10 to view tributes to the late Queen and greet well-wishers. A royal insider tells PEOPLE that Prince William, who invited his brother and sister-in-law to join him and Kate, thought the outing “was an essential gesture of solidarity at an extraordinarily difficult time for the family.”


Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
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The couple were at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday as Queen Elizabeth’s coffin arrived from Scotland, and then joined members of the royal family at Westminster Hall on Wednesday for a service after Prince Harry led a procession through London with his father, brother, and other family members.

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