Harry and Meghan stay out of sight at Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee
In the end, it was a no – at least for Thursday’s big event, the “Trooping the Colour” military parade. Harry and Meghan weren’t on the balcony in the sun with the Queen to watch the dazzling Royal Air Force flyby.
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Nevertheless, keen observers spotted Meghan, wearing a wide-brimmed white hat, in a window above the parade route. Royal commentator and biographer Omid Scobie tweeted that Meghan and Harry were pictured talking with the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent, and having a playful chat with some of the Queen’s great-grandchildren.
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan were pictured at the Major General’s office, Horse Guards Parade earlier. The couple were seen chatting with the Duke of Kent and Meghan was seen playing with Savannah Philips, Mia and Lena Tindall.
📷: Kelvin Bruce/Jim Bennett pic.twitter.com/MULet9QWpl
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) June 2, 2022
They are expected to be more visible on Friday and attend a service of thanksgiving with the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, as part of the ongoing celebrations.
Some in the crowd at Buckingham Palace on Thursday felt the balance struck the right note – the Sussexes were involved, but not front and center. “I agree they shouldn’t be on the balcony,” said Joanne Smith, 52, from north London. “Harry and Meghan don’t live here. They’ve decided they don’t want to be royals. But he’s her grandson, so she wants him for certain things.”
British media have reported that they may also manage to get the Queen away from her beloved horse races on Saturday, so she can join a birthday party for their daughter, the great-granddaughter of the queen, Lilibet.
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Prince Andrew was also conspicuously absent on Thursday.
The Queen’s third child (and reportedly her favourite) was not among her siblings Charles and Anne as they took part in the pomp and pageantry on horseback on Thursday morning with some 1,400 guards. Nor was he in the royal carriages, which included his younger brother Edward.
Andrew’s banishment from frontline royal life comes after he settled a sex abuse lawsuit this year, linked to his friendship with disgraced US financier and convicted abuser Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew was not supposed to be there on Thursday. But he also announced a last-minute excuse for Friday’s church service. Buckingham Palace said he had tested positive for coronavirus.
“Following a routine test, the Duke has tested positive for covid and, with regret, will no longer attend tomorrow’s service,” a palace spokesperson said on Thursday afternoon.
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Andrew participated in the last Trooping the Color, in June 2019, as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards Regiment. It’s an honorary post he accepted after his father, Prince Philip, retired from royal duties in 2017.
But the Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military titles in January and is now Colonel of the Regiment herself, bringing the title full circle. She was first appointed to this position in 1942, and she performed this role on her first Trooping the Colour.
Harry and Meghan don’t seem to face the same kind of exile as Andrew. But they repeatedly ruffled the royal feathers.
They gave an explosive interview to TV host Oprah Winfrey in 2021, detailing their experiences of royal life, including allegations of racism in the family.
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Both have spoken publicly about the media scrutiny they faced in Britain, with Harry sometimes comparing the stalking to that suffered by his late mother, Princess Diana.
Harry and Meghan have continued to be involved in global charities and business ventures. Meghan traveled to Uvalde, Texas last month to pay tribute to the victims of the school shooting. Harry was in Britain last year for the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip.
William Booth, Karla Adam and Marisa Bellack contributed to this report.