The couple, who are now based in California, returned to Britain for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations marking her 70 years on the throne. Although they kept a low profile during Thursday’s Trooping the Color ceremony, they were in full view at Friday’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, where their entrance drew loud cheers from the gathered crowd outside.
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Senior members of the Royal Family congregated at the iconic cathedral for the service, although the Queen was absent after announcing on Thursday evening local time that she had felt “discomfort” during Thursday’s activities and would sit out the service. The monarch has faced mobility issues in recent months and has only appeared at very select public duties, with her children and other royals stepping up to represent her.
Another notable absence from the service is Prince Andrew, who revealed on Thursday that he had tested positive for COVID-19. The Queen’s third child was not part of his mother’s Birthday Parade on Thursday, having stepped away from public duties in the wake of sexual assault claims by Virginia Guiffre. The prince settled the case out of court in February.
In St. Paul’s, Prince Harry and Markle, who were all smiles as they spoke to clergy outside the building before entering, sat in the second row with close friends Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands.
Also present at the Thanksgiving service is U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie, whose appearance, along with some cheering, drew considerable booing from the crowd outside. The prime minister has been involved in a number of “Partygate” scandals in recent months, around parties at 10 Downing Street during the country’s lockdown period.
The Friday mass will pay tribute to the Queen’s 70 years of service. Around 2,000 people, including senior government figures, are expected to fill the cathedral.
The Queen is believed to be watching the church service on television from Windsor Castle.
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