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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry join Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

The Royal Family gathered in St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday to mark the 70th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, bringing Harry and Meghan back to the UK.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle join Platinum Jubilee celebrations
Karwai TangGetty

Friday saw the second day of celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign, part of the four-day jubilee event. A religious service was held at St Paul’s Cathedral in central London, although the Queen herself was unable to attend after experiencing “discomfort.”

In attendance for the service was most other members of the United Kingdom’s royal family, including Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who opted to step away from formal duties in 2020.

It was the first time that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been seen in public with the royal family in two years, although they remained at a distance from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate.

The Cambridges entered with their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, followed by the Prince of Wales, who was filling in for his mother due to the Queen’s absence.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson read a passage from the Bible as part of the service, but was roundly booed by onlookers as he entered and left the building. Members of the public had camped out overnight to get a prime spot to watch the pageantry unfold.

Harry and Meghan return to the royal spotlight

The last time Harry and Meghan were seen in public with other Royals was their last engagement as working royal, back in March 2020 for the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey. After facing resistance from the UK press the pair opted to move to Los Angeles to begin a new life.

Sky News royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills wrote: “With the Queen resting at Windsor, her relatives had turned out in force for the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s. But inevitably two were always going to stand out.”

She added: “It was the first time we’ve seen Harry and Meghan with the rest of the family since it all went wrong and they stepped away from royal life.”

While away from the UK, the couple gave an interview to Oprah Winfrey in which Meghan claimed that a member of the Royal household had questioned what colour skin the couple’s baby would have, sparking outrage.

Harry, younger brother of William, who is set to inherit the crown eventually, revealed that his father Prince Charles had stopped taking his calls and that he had not spoken to his brother in a long time.

However for all the frostiness between the parties, the Platinum Jubilee presented an opportunity to reunite in celebration. Harry and Meghan brought their daughter Lilibet, the Queen’s family nickname, to the UK. It is possible that Lilibet could meet her namesake and great-grandmother for the first time on this trip, although that is likely to depend on the Queen’s health.