Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pray thanksgiving on Friday.

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

But the Queen stayed home after being “disturbed” on Thursday, the first day of the Platinum Jubilee. Buckingham Palace said in a statement Thursday evening that the Queen “enjoyed greatly” the opening events of the platinum jubilee and made the decision to miss Friday’s service “with great hesitation” after “taking into account the flight and activity required to participate.”

The Queen appeared twice on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Thursday to the delight of the thousands of flag-waving supporters below.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told CNN on Friday that the Queen will be watching Thanksgiving on TV from Windsor Castle. Her son, Prince Andrew, was notably absent on Friday after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Meghan and Harry, who traveled from the United States for the jubilee festivities, were greeted warmly by the crowd, to cheers. Ahead of the event, there was a lot of speculation in the British press about how the couple would be greeted after their decision to step back from the royal family and move to California two years ago.

The public was less enthusiastic about British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was encouraged and booed upon his arrival with his wife, Carey.

The last guests to arrive at St Paul were Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, then Prince Charles – heir to the throne – and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Over 400 people from all four countries of the UK were invited to attend the event honoring the Queen’s life in service. The congregation includes key workers, teachers and public servants as well as representatives from the armed forces, charities, social foundations and voluntary groups, according to Buckingham Palace. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was among the attendees.

The service is an opportunity for members of the royal family to come together in appreciation of the beloved mother.

Kate Williams, royal historian, told CNN, “Yesterday it was a big party, a big party and great and wonderful, with fly and an amazing tribute to armed service. But today it’s more serious.”

This event was the first time the public was able to get a good glimpse of Harry and Meghan. They were seated in the second row, along with Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, Prince Andrew’s daughters and their husbands.

File photo of St. Paul's Cathedral, site of the Thanksgiving Friday service.
The pair also attended Trooping the Color on Thursday, but kept a low profile for their first joint outing at a royal event in two years by watching the proceedings from the Major General’s office overlooking Horse Guards Parade.

Harry and Meghan did not join other members of the royal family for the traditional appearance on the balcony after the parade as the Queen decided last month that only members of the royal family would be invited for that moment.

While Trooping the Color celebrated the Queen’s official birthday, it was also a lifting of the curtain on the four-day Jubilee Weekend. The festivities will also include a concert at the palace on Saturday and a festival on Sunday.

The theme of the Friday morning event, officially called the National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen, is public service. St Paul’s Dean, David Eason led The service will include Bible readings, prayers and hymns to honor the Queen’s 70 years on the British throne.

The Queen is surrounded by many members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London on Thursday.

Saint Paul celebrated this occasion by calling him The bell – the largest in the UK, weighing more than 16 tons. Friday’s event is the first royal event to be staged since its restoration in 2021.

After the service, the Mayor of London, Vincent Kevini, will host a reception for the royal family and their guests in Guildhall, where the local government is located. Keaveny leads the financial district of London, known as the Square Mile.

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