King Charles will host world leaders and royals at Buckingham Palace before two minutes silence

King Charles and Camilla will host world leaders and royals from around the world at Buckingham Palace reception tonight as nation pays tribute at 8pm with two minute silence ahead of Queen’s funeral

  • Foreign dignitaries, the world’s kings, queens, presidents, PMs and VIPs are landing in UK for the funeral
  • Charles and Camilla will host ‘reception of the century’ at Buckingham Palace tonight for 1,000 guests
  •  President Joe Biden is expected to attend along with majority of Europe’s royals to have drinks and canapes
  • After 6pm reception there will be a national two minutes of silence at 8pm as UK prepares for state funeral
  • The queue to see the Queen lying in state will shut today as people rush to join the line before it closes 
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

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King Charles will host the ‘reception of the century’ for 1,000 VIPs including world leaders and foreign royals at Buckingham Palace tonight as the nation holds a two minute silence for his mother on the eve of her funeral tomorrow.

Hundreds of thousands are still queueing for approaching 14 hours for the final day of Her Majesty’s lying in state at Westminster Hall amid growing rumours the Government may soon shut the affectionately named ‘Elizabeth Line’. 

US President Joe Biden, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister and the Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau are among the heads of states in London to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral on Monday. Emmanuel Macron is expected to land later.

Most are also expected to view the Queen‘s coffin in the ancient heart of Parliament after being given a VIP timeslot – raising the prospect that mourners who have queued through the night will pay their respects with leaders of the free world. 

Tonight 1,000 guests will be hosted by the King and Queen Consort, Camilla. World leaders, ambassadors and foreign royals will attend a reception at the Palace where they will also be greeted by the Prince and Princess of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. The Kings and Queens from Holland, Norway and Spain will also be there – but guests asked to wear lounge suits and morning dress rather than ball gowns and white tie as would be expected at a usual state event at the King’s London home.

They will arrive at 6pm for  drinks and canapes in the Buckingham Palace picture gallery and state apartments.

King Charles III and the Queen Consort will host 1,000 guests at Buckingham Palace tonight on the eve of the Queen's funeral

King Charles III and the Queen Consort will host 1,000 guests at Buckingham Palace tonight on the eve of the Queen’s funeral

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrive at Stansted on Air Force One last night

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrive at Stansted on Air Force One last night 

Britain's King Charles III speaks with Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, as he receives realm prime ministers in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace yesterday

Britain’s King Charles III speaks with Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, as he receives realm prime ministers in the 1844 Room at Buckingham Palace yesterday

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Trudeau pay respects to Britain's Queen Elizabeth in Westminster Hall

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Trudeau pay respects to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in Westminster Hall

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte will be heading to London for the event

French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte will be heading to London for the event

Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia are expected at the Buckingham Palace reception

Spain’s King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia are expected at the Buckingham Palace reception

The discussion between King Charles III (left) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right) was kept secret due to 'protocol', but Mr Albanese hinted that they discussed environment issues, including climate change

The discussion between King Charles III (left) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (right) was kept secret due to ‘protocol’, but Mr Albanese hinted that they discussed environment issues, including climate change

Members of the public stand in the queue in the early hours of the morning, near Tower Briddge, as they wait in line to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II. The 'Elizabeth Line' will close today

Members of the public stand in the queue in the early hours of the morning, near Tower Briddge, as they wait in line to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II. The ‘Elizabeth Line’ will close today

But it appears the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were ‘uninvited’ to a state reception for world leaders and foreign royals this evening, it was reported.

It is thought the couple received an invitation to the event, hosted by King Charles and the Queen Consort, earlier in the week.

But Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are now unlikely to attend after officials at Buckingham Palace insisted the reception was for working royals only, it is understood.

The confusion over Harry and Meghan’s invitation points to issues with communication between the Californian-based couple and the Royal Family, according to the Daily Telegraph. It follows an apparent U-turn over Harry’s right to wear military uniform despite being a non-working royal.

The Palace is understood to have intervened to allow Harry to wear his regalia to a 15-minute vigil at Westminster Hall yesterday. Harry had previously said he would wear a morning suit to all the funeral events.

The final day of the Queen’s lying in state is set to take place, while a minute’s silence will be held later to mourn her death.

The late monarch’s coffin will remain in Westminster Hall for the public to view until 6.30am on Monday, ahead of the state funeral in Westminster Abbey, with Sunday likely to be the last chance to join the queue.

Queen Elizabeth II 's grandchildren (clockwise from front centre) the Prince of Wales, Peter Phillips, James, Viscount Severn, Princess Eugenie, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Beatrice, Lady Louise Windsor and Zara Tindall hold a vigil

Queen Elizabeth II ‘s grandchildren (clockwise from front centre) the Prince of Wales, Peter Phillips, James, Viscount Severn, Princess Eugenie, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Beatrice, Lady Louise Windsor and Zara Tindall hold a vigil

The Prince of Wales (right) and the Duke of Sussex before holding a vigil beside the coffin of their grandmother

The Prince of Wales (right) and the Duke of Sussex before holding a vigil beside the coffin of their grandmother

The Queen's eight grandchildren carried out a vigil at her coffin on Saturday evening in the Palace of Westminster

The Queen’s eight grandchildren carried out a vigil at her coffin on Saturday evening in the Palace of Westminster 

King Charles meets excited royal fans queueing along the banks of the Thames

King Charles meets excited royal fans queueing along the banks of the Thames

Prince William greets people queueing to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth

Prince William greets people queueing to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth

The Queen: All you need to know following her passing and a look back at her 70-year reign

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As of 5am, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) online tracker said the estimated queuing time was at least 12 hours – far shorter than the peak of more than 25 hours that was seen in the early hours of Saturday morning.

At 8pm, the country will observe a one-minute silence to remember the Queen, with people invited to mark the occasion privately at home, on their doorstep or street, or at community events and vigils.

It will come shortly after the Queen Consort pays a televised tribute to the late monarch, recalling her “wonderful blue eyes” and saying: “I will always remember her smile.”

Camilla, in pre-recorded words on the BBC, will speak of how Queen Elizabeth II was a “solitary woman” in a male-dominated world.

She will add: “I can’t remember anyone except the Queen being there.”

There will also be a service of reflection near Falkirk, Scotland at 7.30pm.

It will see 96 lanterns, one for each year of the late monarch’s life, lowered into the pool of reflection at the foot of the Queen Elizabeth II Canal, before wreaths are placed into the water.

Meanwhile, Liz Truss is to have an audience with King Charles III before attending his reception for visiting heads of state at Buckingham Palace.

The King and Queen Consort will host world leaders and official overseas guests at the palace, in what the King’s spokesman described as an “official state event”.

The Prime Minister will also meet Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Polish president Andrzej Duda in Downing Street.

It comes as world leaders travel to the UK ahead of Monday’s funeral service.

The DCMS has said the historic occasion will be shown on giant screens in various locations across the UK – from London’s Hyde Park to Coleraine Town Hall in Northern Ireland.

Around 125 cinemas will also be screening the event – along with Sky News, ITV and the BBC for people watching from home.

On Saturday evening, the Queen’s eight grandchildren together staged a heart-rending evening vigil around their beloved Granny’s coffin.

The Prince of Wales, at the head of the coffin, with his brother the Duke of Sussex at the foot, both in the Blues and Royals No 1 uniform, stood with their heads bowed in her honour in sombre silence in the vast Westminster Hall.

Future king William was flanked at the corners by his cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Philips.

Harry was between Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, with 18-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn – the Queen’s youngest grandchild who is just 14 – at the middle on either side of the coffin.

The grandchildren, invited by the King, had wanted to pay their respects as their parents had done the evening before.

William and the King also went on a walkabout in the afternoon to greet mourners in the queue for the lying in state, after Charles was given a tour of the Metropolitan Police Service Special Operations Room.

Hundreds of people in line at Lambeth, south London, cheered and applauded, with William and Charles shaking scores of hands and the prince discussing how long people had waited and whether they were able to keep warm.

At Westminster Abbey, final preparations are being put in place ready for the funeral on Monday.

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