Harry and Meghan are still out of sight for the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

Harry and Meghan are still out of sight for the platinum jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

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London – will they appear or not? The biggest suspense ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations on Thursday was whether Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, would appear on the run from the royal family.

Buckingham Palace had indicated that it would only be “the senior staff of the royal family” and some of their children at the big moment on the balcony with the Queen. That would exclude Harry and Meghan, who relinquished their royal responsibilities in 2020 and moved to California, shaking the foundations of the family’s institution. But even so, rumors swirled until the last minute that the Queen might make an exception.

In the end, the Troops of Color military parade was none – at least for Thursday’s big event. Harry and Meghan weren’t on the balcony in the sun with the Queen to watch the Royal Air Force’s dazzling flight.

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However, excited watchers spotted Meghan, wearing a white wide-brimmed hat, in a window above the parade route. Royal commentator and biographer Omid Scobie wrote on Twitter that Meghan and Harry were pictured chatting with the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent and hilariously chatting with some of the Queen’s grandchildren.

They are expected to be more visible on Friday and attend a Thanksgiving service with the Queen at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, as part of the ongoing festivities.

British media have reported that she may also succeed in keeping the Queen off her beloved horse race on Saturday, so she can join the birthday party of their daughter, Lilibit, the Queen’s granddaughter.

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Prince Andrew was also notably absent on Thursday.

The Queen’s third child (and said to be her favourite) was not among his siblings Charles and Anne as they partied on horseback in pomp and pomp on Thursday morning with about 1,400 guards. Nor was he in royal carriages, among which was his younger brother Edward.

Andrew’s removal from frontline royal life comes after a sexual assault lawsuit was settled this year, linked to his friendship with disgraced US financier and convicted aggressor, Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew was not expected to show up on Thursday. But he announced a last-minute excuse for a Friday church service, too. Buckingham Palace said he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

“After conducting a routine test, the Duke has tested positive for coronavirus and unfortunately will not be attending tomorrow’s service,” a palace spokesperson said Thursday afternoon.

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Andrew participated in the last Trooping the Color, in June 2019, as a colonel in the Grenadier Guards Regiment. This is an honorary position he accepted after his father, Prince Philip, retired from royal positions in 2017.

But the Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military titles in January and she is now a colonel in the regiment herself, bringing the title back full circle. She was first appointed to the position in 1942, and rode the role on her first Trooping the Color.

A mix of Queen Elizabeth II on her balcony over the years (Video: The Washington Post)

Harry and Meghan don’t seem to be facing the same kind of exile as Andrew. But they repeatedly raised the royal feathers.

They did an amazing interview with TV host Oprah Winfrey in 2021, detailing their experiences in royal life, including allegations of racism in the family.

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Both have spoken publicly about the media scrutiny they faced in Britain, and Harry has sometimes likened the chase to that faced by his late mother, Princess Diana.

Harry and Meghan continued to be involved in global philanthropy and commercial projects. Meghan visited Yuvaldi, Texas, last month to pay her respects to the victims of the school shooting there. Harry was in Britain last year for the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip.

William Booth and Marisa Bellak contributed to this report.

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