The Sussexes appeared to return to Windsor after the Queen’s Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral, rather than face an expected frosty meeting with Prince William and Kate Middleton
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle missed an anniversary event to avoid “fooling around with the family,” it has been reported.
The Sussexes arrived in the UK together for the first time in more than two years to attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and they are aiming to keep a low profile so as not to divert attention from the monarch.
But many eyes were on her, first for her participation in Trooping the Color on Thursday and then for the Thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
Her outspoken criticism of the royals has deepened her rift with other members of Harry’s family and it turns out they had no intention of staying here to see William and Kate after the Thanksgiving service and quickly returned to Windsor.
A royal adviser said that while they were delighted to see Prince Charles, they were reluctant to meet the Cambridges at an anniversary reception afterwards.
“Harry and Meghan were happy to stop by Clarence House to see Charles on his way to St Paul’s. But after that, they were less interested in spending time with family at the front desk, where they would meet up with William and Kate,” they said The sun.
The Sussexes had relegated seats in the church, reflecting their change in status.
Far removed from the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Harry and Meghan sat in the second row behind the Wessex family and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
Working royals filled the front row chairs, meaning there was no room for Harry and Meghan in the best positions.
They no longer use their HRH styles and the event was their first public appearance alongside the Windsors since they stepped down as senior royals two years ago amid the Megxit storm.
However, they made a solo procession, holding each other’s hands, through the nave of St Paul’s Cathedral, after the remainder of the mass of more than 40 royals and before the future King Charles and the Cambridges.
They were personally escorted by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Alexander Matheson of Matheson, the Queen’s Senior Gentleman Usher.
With little happening randomly at major choreographed royal occasions, it seemed like a recognition of Harry’s place sixth in line and a former replacement for the heir and how things used to be.
Meghan, in an elegant Dior trench coat and matching hat, smiled as she walked through the church, while Harry sometimes bit his lip while nodding greetings to members of the congregation.
There was no apparent interaction shown on the TV camera between Harry and William or between Meghan and Kate.
Just over a year ago, in a controversial Oprah interview, Harry and Meghan accused an unnamed member of the royal family, not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh, of racism and portrayed the monarchy as an indifferent institution.
Kate has been publicly singled out by Meghan for allegedly making her cry in the run-up to their wedding.
Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, meanwhile, greeted William and Kate with a kiss when they met at the west entrance.
Former BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt said: “For the briefest moment, Harry and Meghan were active Windsors again.
“The institution has not collapsed. The royals need them but are unlikely to acknowledge what they have lost given the pain felt by all sides.”
There was a throwback to the Harry Royal fans who know and love them.
The Duke jokingly pulled an open face at other members of his family across the aisle, most likely his cousin Zara Tindall and her husband, ex-rugby player Mike.
He was also spotted laughing as he sat next to Princess Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank, who appeared red-faced as he giggled.
In 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee, Harry had taken a front row seat of honor at St Paul’s to celebrate his grandmother’s 60th year on the throne.
Much has changed since then, with Harry wedring American actress Meghan in a glamorous royal wedding in 2018, followed by their troubled departure in 2020.
The mass gathering of nearly 50 royals, including Harry and Meghan, was then invited to the Guildhall for a special celebratory reception.
But the Sussexes, who were believed to have returned to their base at Frogmore Cottage, chose not to attend, as did the Princess Royal, who was carrying out her royal duties and feeding penguins on a visit to Edinburgh Zoo.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-harry-meghan-markle-miss-27144341 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are missing the anniversary party to avoid 'hobnobbing with the family'