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Meghan and Harry’s ‘error’ invitation shows ‘detachment’ from Firm

Prince Harry didn't have meeting with William reveals Myers

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The state reception mishap surrounding Meghan Markle and Prince Harry is an example of the gulf still existing between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Firm, according to a royal commentator. Expert Camilla Tominey recalled the “state reception invitation debacle”, reports of which first emerged late last week, as she analysed the current state of the relationship between Harry and the rest of his family in the UK.

Meghan and Harry, she reported, had originally been invited to the reception held at Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening by King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

This event marked one of the biggest gatherings held at the London palace in years, as it saw foreign royals, government officials and an array of world leaders in attendance.

However, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ended up not being among the royal guests supporting Charles and Camilla in their roles as hosts, as they had reportedly been invited to the official event “in error”.

The couple, who have been living in California for the past two years after relinquishing their senior roles within the Firm, reportedly first learned their invitation was on the brink following a press briefing on Thursday, “when a question mark was raised by the King’s spokesman over the attendance of ‘non-working’ royals”, Ms Tominey recalled.

Writing in the Telegraph, the commentator continued: “Such is the breakdown in communication between the Sussexes’ people and the palace that they couldn’t get a firm answer on whether they were in or out until Friday evening, when it emerged they had been invited ‘in error’.”

One insider said of the Sussexes: “They have done everything as best they could.

“They have turned up, they have smiled, shaken hands, whatever was asked.”

Before citing other episodes, including the issue of the Duke of Sussex’s military uniform and the missing “ER” cypher on it during the vigil held by the Queen’s grandchildren at Westminster Hall on Saturday evening, Ms Tominey said: “You may have thought that the past 12 unprecedented days would have provided the royals with the perfect opportunity to patch up their differences.

“But in reality, the extraordinary sequence of events that we have just witnessed has only served to highlight just how detached the Sussexes now are from The Firm, if not the family.”

Rumours of tensions between Prince Harry and Prince William started circulating months before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their decision to step back as working members of the Firm in January 2020.

Harry himself commented on the speculation in an interview with Tom Bradby aired in October 2019 as part of the ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.

While saying he would always love his brother, he conceded they were now on “different paths”. 

The Duke provided a similar answer when asked about his once strong bond with William during the Sussexes’ bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in early 2021.

He said: “You know, as I’ve said before, I love William to bits. He’s my brother.

“We’ve been through hell together. I mean, we have a shared experience. But we… you know, we’re on different paths.”

While William and Harry had no public interaction in June, when the Sussexes travelled across the pond to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, they have put on a united front while grieving the passing of their grandmother.

Two days after the death of the death of Elizabeth II, they stepped out in Windsor with their wives Kate and Meghan to view some of the tributes left for the late monarch.

The couples were photographed speaking and walking together and taking part in a walkabout during which they met mourning members of the public.

On September 14, William and Harry joined the procession led by King Charles, which took the Queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.

On Saturday, both brothers donned the Blues and Royals uniform and stood around the coffin of the late sovereign alongside their six cousins.

During the state funeral held on Monday, both grieving brothers took part in the processions which saw the Queen travelling from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey first and then from the gothic cathedral to Windsor Castle.

The brothers also reportedly had a brief chat far from the cameras.

The Sunday Times’ Roya Nikkhah claimed William and Harry shared a “brief chance encounter” last Thursday while the Prince of Wales was returning to Windsor after picking up from school his children.

She wrote: “Harry and Meghan were in their car and the brothers drove past each other but then stopped, reversed, wound down their windows and chatted for a while.”

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