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The Sussexes

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex join the Royal Family publicly for first time in two years

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their first public appearance alongside members of the Royal Family on Friday morning, attending the Service of Thanksgiving in honour of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

In what was probably one of the most highly-anticipated moments of the entire Platinum Jubilee weekend, Harry and Meghan returned to the UK two years after stepping down as senior royals.

Arriving by Range Rover at St Paul’s Cathedral, the couple were escorted to their seats upon arrival, sitting with Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands in the second row, on the opposite side of the congregation from the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Anyone hoping for a public reconciliation, or even a simple greeting, between Harry and Meghan and the senior royals were doomed to disappointment as Prince Charles and Camilla and William and Kate were escorted to their seats in a separate procession.

Harry and Meghan are understood to have missed the subsequent lunch at the Guildhall, which was attended by nearly everyone in attendance at the Service of Thanksgiving, working and non-working royals alike.

Though the couple attended Trooping the Colour, they were only spotted through the windows by photographers at the Office of the Major-General at Horse Guards and were not part of any official procession or the flypast at Buckingham Palace afterwards.

Harry and Meghan famously stepped down as senior, working members of the Royal Family in 2020, with their last engagement in that year’s Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March.

With Friday’s church service over, it is not known whether or not Harry and Meghan will attend any further Platinum Jubilee events. The weekend’s schedule includes the Epsom Derby, the Platinum Party at the Palace, and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

Harry and Meghan’s daughter, Lilibet, also celebrates her first birthday on Saturday. No reports have been issued as to how the Sussexes will commemorate the milestone.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.