Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived in grand style with the rest of the Royal Family at St Paul’s Cathedral today for the Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen, who decided to watch on television at home at Windsor Castle.
Prince Charles officially represented the 96-year-old monarch at the Platinum Jubilee service in London, which was also attended by Harry and Meghan for their first joint royal engagement in more than two years.
But the Queen missed the historic event following a last-minute decision announced by Buckingham Palace at 7.30pm yesterday after she experienced ‘discomfort’ during Trooping The Colour events earlier in the day.
There was also no appearance at St Paul’s by Prince Andrew after he tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week. The Queen watched the service from her Berkshire residence, and it was broadcast nationally on BBC One.
Royal arrivals today were hailed by the ringing of the cathedral bells, with the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and her husband Mike among the first as they were greeted by the Bishop of London and the Archbishop of York.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and their two children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, then arrived along with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie along with their respective husbands Edoardo and Jack.
That group were followed by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who held hands and were smiling broadly as they were greeted at the Great West Door by the Dean of St Paul’s and walked up the steps of the cathedral.
Harry and Meghan spent a few minutes talking to the senior cleric before they entered the place of worship and proceeded to greet the long line of clergy. Harry stopped to chat for a few moments with the Archbishop of York.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then arrived to loud cheers and waved to the public as they walked up the steps to the cathedral. The Duchess was wearing a dress by Emilia Wickstead and a Philip Treacy hat.
Charles and Camilla were the last royals to arrive, stopping to speak with the clergy before making their way inside to their seats. Camilla wore an ivory and gold embroidered coat dress by Fiona Clare and hat by Philip Treacy. Kate and William, followed by Charles and Camilla, were then led in a procession to their seats in the front row.
Harry and Meghan had to squeeze past his cousins Beatrice and Eugenie, who were already seated, to get to their places. Harry was spotted, with his mouth open, appearing to be enjoying a joke with another royal seated across the aisle. Beatrice, sitting a few seats down, was also grinning in the same direction.
Political guests arrived ahead of the royals, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie, former prime minister Sir Tony Blair and his wife Cherie, Sir John Major and other ex-prime ministers Gordon Brown, Theresa May and David Cameron, and their spouses. Cabinet ministers Sajid Javid and Liz Truss were also there.