Queen misses jubilee service with Harry and Meghan

Queen misses jubilee service with Harry and Meghan

Queen misses jubilee service with Harry and Meghan in attendance as Boris Johnson is booed

London (CNN)The second day of celebrations marking Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign began with members of the royal family, including Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, attending a religious service at the famed St Paul’s Cathedral in central London on Friday.

The Queen, however, remained at home after experiencing “discomfort” on Thursday, the first day of the Platinum Jubilee, during which she appeared twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Thursday evening that the Queen had “greatly enjoyed” the jubilee’s opening events and made the decision to miss Friday’s service “with great reluctance” after “taking into account the journey and activity required to participate.”
Meghan and Harry, who flew from the US for the jubilee celebrations, were warmly welcomed by the crowd on Friday, arriving to cheers. Ahead of the event, there was much speculation in the British press over how the couple would be received following their decision to step back from the royal family and move to California two years ago.

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the service of thanksgiving on Friday.
The public was less enthusiastic toward British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was both cheered and booed as he arrived with his wife, Carrie.
The final guests to arrive at St Paul’s were Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, followed by Prince Charles — the heir to the throne — and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told CNN on Friday that the Queen would be watching the thanksgiving service on television from Windsor Castle. Her son Prince Andrew was another notable absence from the religious service after testing positive for coronavirus.

Britain’s Prince Charles arrives for the Friday service
The service was a chance for the royals to come together in recognition of the much-loved matriarch.
“Yesterday it was one big party, one big spectacular, fabulous, party, with a flypast and the amazing tribute to the armed service. But today is much more solemn,” said CNN royal historian Kate Williams.
More than 400 people from all four nations of the United Kingdom were invited to the event recognizing the Queen’s lifetime of service. The congregation included key workers, teachers and public servants as well as representatives from the Armed Forces, charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups, according to Buckingham Palace. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was among those in the audience.
The theme of Friday morning’s event, formally called “The National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen,” was public service. The Dean of St Paul’s, David Ison, led the service, which included Bible readings, prayers and congregational hymns to honor the Queen’s 70 years on the British throne.

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Britain’s Prince Charles arrives for the Friday service
The service was a chance for the royals to come together in recognition of the much-loved matriarch.
“Yesterday it was one big party, one big spectacular, fabulous, party, with a flypast and the amazing tribute to the armed service. But today is much more solemn,” said CNN royal historian Kate Williams.
More than 400 people from all four nations of the United Kingdom were invited to the event recognizing the Queen’s lifetime of service. The congregation included key workers, teachers and public servants as well as representatives from the Armed Forces, charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups, according to Buckingham Palace. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was among those in the audience.
The theme of Friday morning’s event, formally called “The National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen,” was public service. The Dean of St Paul’s, David Ison, led the service, which included Bible readings, prayers and congregational hymns to honor the Queen’s 70 years on the British throne.

 

Harry and Meghan did not join other royal family members for the traditional balcony appearance following the parade as the Queen decided last month that only working royals would be invited to that moment.
While Trooping the Colour celebrated the Queen’s official birthday, it also served as a curtain-raiser for her four-day jubilee weekend. Festivities will also include a concert at the palace on Saturday and a pageant on Sunday.
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U.K. says ‘thank you, ma’am’ to queen at Platinum Jubilee spectacle

LONDON — Nobody pumps out the pomp quite like the British. And so Buckingham Palace and the nation’s armed forces put on an extraordinary pageant Thursday for their deeply admired monarch, in celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, her 70th year on the throne.

Kicking off four days of festivities, the spectacle began with the Queen’s Birthday Parade, the 260-year-old tradition known as Trooping the Colour, with 1,400 soldiers in scarlet tunics and bearskin caps — alongside an Irish wolfhound named Seamus — marching in precision drills, while bands mounted on horses pounded on kettle drums and blew trumpets.

At the end of the parade, there was a record-breaking 82-gun salute and finally a “flypast” by the Royal Air Force, showcasing 70 fighter planes and helicopters roaring overhead, some flying in formation to spell the number “70,” while the queen — wearing sunglasses — smiled from the palace balcony.

Well, the queen’s great-grandson Prince Louis, just 4 and dressed in a sailor suit, did steal the show when he clamped his hands over his ears and made a face as the jets zoomed past.

And afterward, the palace announced that while the queen “greatly enjoyed” the parade and aerial display, she “did experience some discomfort” and would miss Friday’s thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

In interviews, over and over, the people massed outside Buckingham Palace on Thursday — many dressed in Union Jack costumes, quaffing a river of Prosecco — told The Washington Post that they wanted to show their appreciation to Elizabeth for a lifetime of service.

A giant banner reading “thank you” was held aloft, an image picked up by overhead cameras and broadcast on jumbo screens outside the palace.

It seemed to sum up the sentiment in the crowd.

And many felt this was not just a big thank you, but a final thank you, as if everyone was making merry but also holding their breath, wondering if the queen would make it to her own party.

“I’m going to get emotional,” said teacher Helen Critcher, 57, who had just watched the queen smile and wave at her subjects, which prompted many to rapturously sing “God Save the Queen” — even if some didn’t seem to know all the words to the British national anthem.

The queen has been “a constant for 70 years in a very changing and frightening world, someone who put duty above everything else,” Critcher said. “I think we just want her to know that she’s very valued.”

Queen Elizabeth II: A visual timeline of her 70 years on the throne

People outside the palace also wondered aloud what will happen to this monarchy after Elizabeth leaves the stage. She is the only queen most of her subjects have ever known.

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In her recent communiques, she has gently acknowledged that she will not be around forever.

In her jubilee message released Thursday, she wrote that she hoped “the coming days will provide an opportunity to reflect on all that has been achieved during the last seventy years, as we look to the future with confidence and enthusiasm.”

But the people are happy with their queen. Her approval ratings are as high as 86 percent, according to polling firm Ipsos. And most people want her to keep going.

A poll by YouGov found that 59 percent surveyed said Elizabeth should remain monarch as long as she lives, while 25 percent said she should step aside and 17 percent were undecided.

Many of the people gathered outside Buckingham Palace — a self-selecting group, of course — said she should stay put.

“I think she should carry on, she does a wonderful job,” said Elaine Stone, 55, who works in a statistics office.

“And yes, okay, age is holding her back a little bit now, but she’s still got all her marbles and her sense of duty won’t ever leave her,” Stone said.

 

‘Beacon masters’ light the U.K. on fire for queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Helen Graziano, 67, a retired business development consultant who flew in from Spain to be at the celebrations, agreed that the queen should stay queen.

Graziano liked how the Firm, as insiders call the palace, is working, with a gentle transition underway.

“Charles is doing a bit more, William a bit more … and who is to say, she might outlive Charles,” she said.

Lin Qinn, 72, a retired support worker for people with learning difficulties, wondered if perhaps it might be time to make way for Prince Charles, the king-in-waiting.

She said of the queen: “I think she’s done a marvelous job, through the war, through everything. I wouldn’t want to do it. She works so hard, every day, every day is a working day for her. She puts her country first and family second.

 

Corgis play a starring role in Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

“I think maybe the time is coming soon, time to let Charles step in and do what he’s been raised to do. I think he’s ready. I think the queen can have a rest and step back and enjoy herself.”

Charles — who has increasingly taken on roles traditionally held by his mother — had the responsibility of reviewing the parading military troops on the queen’s behalf on Thursday, before leading them on horseback back to Buckingham Palace, where Elizabeth was waiting.

 

Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, also took to the streets to greet the crowds.

Wearing his royal red military uniform, Charles, the honorary colonel of the Welsh Guards, shook hands and smiled, engaging in a “walkabout” — a custom started by Elizabeth during a 1970 trip to Australia.

Among the public, there was great interest in when and where the runaway royals, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, would appear.

As the California couple are no longer “senior working royals,” they were not invited to stand with the queen on the balcony.

But keen-eyed observers spotted Meghan, wearing a wide-brimmed white hat, in a window above the parade route.

She was photographed playfully chatting with some of the queen’s great-grandchildren, as well as speaking with the Duke of Kent.

Harry and Meghan are expected to be more visible Friday, attending the service at St. Paul’s.

 

Also notably absent on Thursday was disgraced Prince Andrew.

The queen’s third child (said to be her favorite) was not alongside siblings Charles and Anne as they took part in salutes on horseback. Nor was he in the royal carriages, which included his younger brother Edward. Nor was he on the balcony.

Andrew’s banishment from front-line royal life comes after he settled a sexual abuse lawsuit this year, linked to his friendship with disgraced American financier and convicted abuser Jeffrey Epstein.

 

  • It now appears that Andrew will not attend Friday’s church service, either.
  • Buckingham Palace said Thursday afternoon that he had just tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • Ellen Francis in London and Marisa Bellack in Washington contributed to this report.

 

Queen’s Jubilee Live Updates: Harry and Meghan Make First Public Appearance
After keeping a low profile on the first day of Platinum Jubilee celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II, her grandson Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, attended a service on Friday at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

 

LONDON — After the military pomp and pageantry of Thursday’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years as Britain’s monarch, the focus on Friday turned to a service at St. Paul’s Cathedral and the first public appearance at the jubilee for her grandson Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan.

It was the most eagerly anticipated moment of Friday’s agenda, closely watched by royal watchers and Britain’s news media, given the well-known strains within the family.

Their appearance strictly followed royal dress protocol — Harry in a morning coat and Meghan in a tilted white hat, a neat cream coatdress by the British designer Emilia Wickstead and pumps, her legs shod in what appeared to be sheer hose. Her hair was pulled back into a bun very much like that of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, during a Buckingham Palace balcony photo op on Thursday.

 

Moments later Catherine and her husband, Prince William, also arrived for the service, as did Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince Harry surrendered his royal status in 2020 when the couple left Britain to live in Southern California. The next year, they gave an explosive interview to Oprah Winfrey in which Meghan suggested that she had been subjected to racism from within the royal household and Harry stated that his brother, Prince William, and father, Prince Charles, were “trapped” in their roles.

The queen had initially been expected to attend Friday’s event, but Buckingham Palace said late Thursday that she had decided to skip the service after experiencing discomfort on a busy first day of festivities. The palace said that the queen had “greatly enjoyed” the military parade that marked her birthday, but “did experience some discomfort.”

The queen appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace twice on Thursday, in the second instance uniting four generations of Britain’s royal family in what was the symbolic centerpiece of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

It was a more streamlined assembly of royals than in previous jubilee years, with Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son, and Prince Harry missing from the balcony. Buckingham Palace announced the lineup well in advance, seeking to avert weeks of speculation about whether they would be invited.

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