Harry, Meghan Invite to World Leaders Event Retracted as Mix-Up Tests Truce

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were invited to meet the likes of President Joe Biden the day before Queen Elizabeth II's funeral only to be told they could not come.

King Charles III and other royals will meet leaders from around the world at a Buckingham Palace reception on Sunday, September 18.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were initially invited only to later be told the function was for working members of the royal family only.

A report from British broadsheet newspaper The Daily Telegraph published on Friday has claimed that the confusion hints at a lack of communication between Buckingham Palace and the Sussexes California-based operations hub. This report will add pressure to an already tense feeling in royal circles.

Newsweek has been told the saga appears to be a genuine error in the heat of organizing a funeral which is expected to be the biggest state event of its kind the U.K. has ever hosted.

However, it comes as a fragile royal truce declared in the aftermath of the queen's death has been tested to the limits.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex photographed after a lying-in-state ceremony for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall, September 14, 2022. Danny Lawson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

A new era of royal unity, in public at least, descended the day after Elizabeth passed as rifts and divisions within the royal family were put to one side so the focus could turn to Britain's longest reigning monarch and her legacy.

However, the days surrounding Elizabeth's death have not been without tension, with King Charles III forced into the first U-turn of his own reign over whether or not Prince Harry would be afforded an opportunity to wear a military uniform.

Disgraced Prince Andrew—also not a working royal—wore his at a vigil alongside the queen's other children on Friday evening, September 16, at Westminster Hall where she has been lying in state.

Initially, Harry was not afforded a chance to wear his uniform despite his two tours on the front line in Afghanistan. This was owing to the prince's losing of his military patronages when he officially stepped down as a working member of the royal family following a one year grace period in 2021.

As speculation regarding his dress for the state events mounted, a spokesperson for Harry made an announcement expressing a wish that focus center on the life and legacy of the queen.

"Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex will wear a morning suit throughout events honoring his grandmother," it read.

"His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."

The Royal Family Follow Queen's Coffin
Members of the royal family including King Charles III, the Prince of Wales and Prince Harry photographed walking behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin on it's journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, September 14, 2022. Harry appeared in morning dress, being denied the right to wear military uniform after losing his honorary forces patronages last year. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Charles climbed down, however, and in the morning on Friday the palace confirmed Harry would be allowed to wear uniform to a separate vigil for grandchildren of the monarch on Saturday, September 17.

It all comes after Harry was, on the day the queen died, expected to arrange his own travel to Scotland while Prince William, Andrew, Prince Edward, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, all travelled together on an earlier flight.

The palace then announced the Queen's death while Harry's plane was still in the air and minutes from landing in Aberdeen, on Thursday, September 8.

The following day, the royals appeared to begin a campaign to welcome Harry and Meghan back into the fold, with Charles speaking of his love for the couple in his first broadcast as King.

This was followed with the release of a personal tribute to the queen from Harry on September 12 in which he spoke of his intention to "honor" his father in his new role as King.

Referencing a quote of Elizabeth's about "final partings as well as first meetings," Harry said: "You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over. And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III."

Two days before the release of the tribute, the Sussexes joined Prince William and Kate Middleton for a walkabout in Windsor on Saturday, September 9. A spokesperson for the prince and princess previously confirmed to Newsweek that William had reached out to Harry about joining them.

The couple then joined a procession behind Elizabeth's coffin on Wednesday, September 14, followed by a vigil.

Prince and Princess of Wales with Sussexes
The Prince and Princess of Wales viewed floral tributes left to Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, September 10, 2022. A royal olive branch was extended by William to his brother. KIRSTY O'CONNOR/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The truce, however, appears fragile and the latest mix-up may well be an unwelcome test of its durability with just days to go until the world says goodbye to a woman known for her powers of diplomacy.

The telltale signs also show that the peace may be difficult to protect in the months that follow when the mourning period has ended and the Sussexes are back in America.

Newsweek approached Buckingham Palace and representatives of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for comment.

Update 09/17/22 06.12a.m. E.T.: This article was updated to include the Newsweek approaches to Buckingham Palace and representatives of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and the information from the Daily Telegraph report.