The Queen did not attend a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral, but other members of the royal family – including Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – were there
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
The Queen watched on television from the comfort of her Windsor Castle home as her family gathered to pay tribute to her extraordinary 70 years of service.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall led a gathering of 2,000 community champions alongside the royals at the famous St Paul’s Cathedral as the horse-loving sovereign was thanked for staying “in the saddle during times of change and challenge”.
It was the first time the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Duke and Duchess of Sussex, previously dubbed the ‘Fab Four’, have been back together in more than two years since Prince Harry and Meghan sensationally ditched their royal roles in favor of the move had United States.
There was a palpable nervousness in the air as they faced each other for the first time since the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 – just days before the country was thrown into a Covid lockdown and a few hours earlier Harry and Meghan are fleeing the country after sensationally leaving The Firm.
Royal observers saw no interaction between the two couples but saw in stark contrast the deep bond between Charles, 73, and his daughter-in-law Kate, as the Prince of Wales blew her a kiss as he greeted her and husband William at the door of the church .
Both royal couples received loud cheers as they walked up St Paul’s Stairs, while Harry and Meghan received a mixed reception of cheers and boos from the hundreds of royal fans who had gathered outside.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who arrived with Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and all the living former Prime Ministers, including Sir Tony Blair and Sir John Major, was also loudly booed upon his arrival.
The community that remained was full of members of the public honored for their service, including the armed forces, charity volunteers, teachers, key staff and the NHS. The Archbishop of York led the thanksgiving service after filling in at short notice for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who contracted Covid this week.
There was also no appearance at St Paul’s from the disgraced Prince Andrew, who was banished from royal duties after being embroiled in a sex abuse scandal after testing positive for coronavirus earlier this week. The Queen watched the service from her private home at Windsor Castle and it was broadcast on BBC One.
Members of the crowd outside St Paul’s sang the national anthem while waiting for the royal family to finish leaving, before Charles and Camilla were the first to exit as the bells began to toll at the end of the service.
After the moving service, which included a selection of 15 hymns, prayers and readings, all the royals attended a jubilee reception at London’s Guildhall a mile away, save for Harry and Meghan, who dropped the gathering.
Harry was seen chatting awkwardly to Princess Margaret’s son, Lord Snowdon, before he and Meghan had a brief exchange with Zara Tindall and departed in a waiting car to return to their Windsor home.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge followed, waving cheerfully to the crowd while smiling and chatting to each other.
High-ranking royals, government ministers and members of the armed forces enjoyed drinks and canapés as they celebrated the “unique event in our history” of the Queen’s platinum jubilee.
Lord Mayor Vincent Keaveny gave a speech praising the “continuity, stability and unity” the Queen has brought to the nation, and described the platinum jubilee as “not so much a one-off event, but a one-off event in our – historical occasion”.
The Queen will continue to rest tomorrow and opt to miss the Epsom Derby but will tune in from home, Buckingham Palace confirmed.
Her Majesty is said to be “doing well” but found the first of four days of her platinum anniversary celebrations “very exhausting”.
At the Guildhall reception, Gill Smallwood from Bolton spoke to Kate and asked how the Queen was.
Ms Smallwood said afterwards: “She (Kate) said ‘Yes she was fine, it was just a really hard day yesterday and she (the Queen) had a lovely, lovely time’.”
The Duchess of Cambridge added that her children Prince George, eight, and Princess Charlotte, seven, with three-year-old Prince Louis, who stole the show with a multitude of hilarious faces as the breathtaking flyby roared over Buckingham Palace, “also “had “. Have a nice time” at Thursday’s celebrations.
The Queen is also set to miss tomorrow night’s music concert at Buckingham Palace, which could become a washout after the Met Office issued a yellow weather warning ahead of thunderstorms to besiege London acts including Diana Ross and Queen onto the stage.
A royal source said: “Her Majesty is doing everything possible to be well rested to attend the finale of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations on Sunday to say a special thank you to everyone who not only made it possible but made it such an incredibly fun occasion for each.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/queen-watched-tv-windsor-family-27143155 Queen watched on TV from Windsor as the family made her proud at Thanksgiving service