While the monarch, 96, was joined by other members of the royal family on the Buckingham Palace balcony, Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, watched the Royal Air Force flypast from the Major General’s Office. Their two children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 11 months, were not photographed at the event although they are expected to attend the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, June 3.
The pair chatted with Prince Edward while at the event, according to photos obtained by the Daily Mail. The California native also reunited with the queen’s great granddaughters Savannah, 11, Isla, 10, Mia, 8 and Lena, 3, as they shared a laugh together before Meghan playfully shushed the little ones.
The couple’s attendance at the traditional Trooping the Colour parade marks their first time in the U.K. at a royal event since they stepped back as senior royals in March 2020. It was initially unclear whether Meghan and Harry would travel to the jubilee, but Us Weekly confirmed in early May that they planned to attend.
“Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are excited and honoured to attend The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this June with their children,” a spokesperson for the couple said on May 4.
Unlike previous years, the duo did not join Elizabeth on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the parade on Thursday, June 2. “After careful consideration, the Queen has decided that this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd of June will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said in a statement last month.
Harry has previously returned to his home country twice since he and Markle moved to California in the spring of 2020: in April 2021 for grandfather Prince Philip‘s funeral and again three months later to attend the unveiling of a statue honoring the late Princess Diana.
Just weeks before the jubilee, the Bench author joined the former military pilot for a surprise visit to Queen Elizabeth on his way to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands. “She had plenty of messages for Team U.K., which I have already passed on to most of them,” Harry told BBC One reporters during a TV special about the games in April. “So, it was great to see her. I’m sure she would love to be here if she could.”
Despite the surprise visit and their attendance at the jubilee, relations between Harry and the royal family are still strained. “I’d say the rift very definitely hasn’t been healed,” royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams exclusively told Us last month. “That, I’m afraid, is quite clear. … It really is an extraordinary situation.”
There is less tension between the Sussexes and Prince William and Duchess Kate’s children, however. “They’re extremely fond of [each other],” the insider told Us exclusively about Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, and their relationship to their uncle. “Charlotte will send everyone in the family thoughtful gifts and cards, and at the very least they’ll call as a family to sing happy birthdays and so on.”