Harry and Meghan handed invitation to state gathering of world leaders at Buckingham Palace

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·2 min read
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a service in Westminster Hall, London, where the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state ahead of her funeral on Monday. Picture date: Wednesday September 14, 2022.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex during a service in Westminster Hall honouring the Queen on Wednesday. (PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to attend a high-profile reception at Buckingham Palace with heads of state from around the world, Yahoo News UK understands, despite original plans that only working royals would be invited.

King Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, will hold the official state event on Sunday for the hundreds of world leaders invited to attend the Queen's funeral the following day.

Buckingham Palace said on Friday that "the King and Queen Consort, accompanied by members of the royal family" would host a reception for heads of state and official overseas guests.

Yahoo News UK understands that senior family members, including Harry and Meghan, have been invited.

It will be the latest in a series of high-profile public appearances for the Sussexes following the death of Harry's grandmother on 8 September.

The couple have kept an arm's length from the UK and the royal family since they quit as working royals and moved to California in 2020.

The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arriving to view the messages and floral tributes left by members of the public at Windsor Castle in Berkshire following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday. Picture date: Saturday September 10, 2022.
Harry and Meghan have scarcely been seen in the UK since leaving to move to California. (PA)

Since then, Harry has appeared at a few events on his own, and the pair made their first public appearance in June when they attended the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

Harry was reunited with his family in Balmoral when news of the Queen's deteriorating health was made public.

Following her death, the Sussexes were reunited with the Prince and Princess of Wales as they viewed flower tributes to the Queen in Windsor.

Harry then stood should-to-shoulder with his brother William on Wednesday during a procession through London, as they joined other royals in accompanying the Queen's coffin as it was brought by procession to Westminster Hall, where she is lying in state.

On Thursday night, in an apparent concession, it emerged Harry has been given permission to wear his Blues and Royals military uniform when he joins his brother, Prince William, and their six cousins in remembering their grandmother as they stand vigil on Saturday.

The state event on Sunday will see many of the world's most powerful individuals gathered in the same building.

It is believed foreign office officials have handwritten around 1,000 invitations for the funeral and the reception with King Charles on Sunday.

Around 500 dignitaries will then attend the state funeral, in what is set to be one of the biggest logistical and diplomatic events in the UK in decades.

They will join members of the royal family, UK prime ministers past and present and key figures from public life at Westminster Abbey – which can hold about 2,000 people – at 11am on Monday.