Queen must be devastated to not meet Lilibet says Jennie Bond
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After months of speculation, it was announced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will make a high-profile return to the UK in June after stepping back from their working royal roles in 2020. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be bringing their two children, Archie, three, and Lilibet, 11 months, to meet Harry’s beloved grandmother, the Queen, and take part in some of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
On Archie’s third birthday on May 6, a statement from the Sussexes announced they were “excited” to attend the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations with other Royal Family members.
The statement read: “Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are excited and honoured to attend The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations with their children.”
The celebrations will mark the first time Lilibet, who was born in the US on June 4, 2021, has ever visited the UK.
The Royal Family will also get to see Archie for the first time in person since he was a baby, as he has not returned to the UK since he left with his parents two years ago.
The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are expected to kick off on Thursday, June 2, when Trooping the Colour returns to all of its London glory.
The Buckingham Palace balcony is traditionally a gathering spot for royals at this event, and working and extended royals alike wave to crowds and watch the flypast every year.
Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s youngest child Prince Louis made his debut at Trooping the Colour in 2019 when he was just a one-year-old.
But despite turning one over the Platinum Jubilee weekend, Lilibet will not get her balcony debut at the same age Louis did, and her older brother Archie has still not had the honour at the age of three.
Archie did not appear at Trooping the Colour 2019 as he was a newborn, and in 2020 and 2021, the Covid pandemic meant Trooping went ahead on a smaller scale at Windsor Castle rather than in central London.
Many had hoped this year would see Archie and Lilibet join their parents on the palace balcony after a turbulent few years for the Royal Family. But the Queen confirmed earlier this month that only working members of the Royal Family will appear alongside her.
A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “After careful consideration, The Queen has decided this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday, June 2, 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.”
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Although Archie and Lilibet won’t appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for Trooping the Colour this year, it has been announced that the Cambridge children will.
The Palace spokesperson added: “The Cambridge and Wessex children are also expected to appear as is Sir Tim Laurence, who the Queen is happy to attend as a frequent attendee and support for the Princess Royal on official engagements.”
According to royal journalist Omid Scobie, who penned a biography of the Sussexes called Finding Freedom, Harry and Meghan did not wish to appear on the balcony in the first place.
Mr Scobie wrote in Yahoo! News that “Prince Harry had already spoken with his grandmother about the possibility of not attending Trooping the Colour long before” the announcement was made.
While we are unlikely to see Archie and Lilibet on the Buckingham Palace balcony on June 2, the Sussex family could appear at several other events over the Jubilee weekend.
Royals will attend a special Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s long reign at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, June 3.
The Royal Family are also expected to be out in full force for the Derby at Epsom, as well as the Platinum Party at the Palace, on Saturday.
Archie and Lilibet may also be present for the Platinum Jubilee Pageant at the weekend, but we will have to wait and see exactly what events the Sussexes will attend.
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