Meghan and Harry excluded from Jubilee celebrations
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned for official engagements from their Montecito home for the first time in two years over the Platinum Jubilee weekend. They kept a wide berth from the cameras trained on the Royal Family throughout the weekend, staying out of sight for the first of the Jubilee events.
They were spotted watching the Trooping the Colour parade on Thursday, June 2, with other senior royals in the Major General’s office at Horse Guards Parade.
But they did not join working royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the RAF flypast closing the parade, after the Palace announced participation would be limited to senior Firm members.
Their only high-profile appearance of the weekend came the following day, when Meghan and Harry climbed the steps at St Paul’s Cathedral for a thanksgiving service.
They sat far away from Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, which raised eyebrows among those watching the two brothers.
Their last royal outing was back in March 2020, when they attended the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey.
They sat next to Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, who visited the couple in America earlier this year.
But Irene Keene, former magazine editor-turned-influencer who travelled to the UK from the US for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, described to Express.co.uk a sense in America of hope for a fraternal reconnection.
Reflecting on how a US audience may perceive the rift between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Firm, Mrs Keene commented that she hoped the “seeds were planted” for reconciliation between Prince Harry, Meghan, and various Royal Family members.
She said: “At the end of the day family – biological or otherwise – is everything, regardless of who one is.”
She added that although she couldn’t speak on the views of all Americans, “I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that it would be a shame if Prince Harry and Prince William don’t mend fences”.
She continued: “With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in London for the Jubilee, I hope seeds were planted for a reconciliation, not just between the brothers, but between Meghan and other family members as well.”
She then commented: “Lastly, I’m glad Her Majesty was able to spend time with her great-grandchildren.
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“Like I said, family is everything.”
When the Duke and Duchess travelled back to UK turf from California for the festivities, they brought with them the couple’s two children.
Ahead of the visit, a spokesperson said the couple was “excited and honoured” to make the journey back across the Atlantic.
Three-year-old Archie was not seen during the extended weekend, although the couple did publicise a portrait of their youngest child, Lilibet.
Lilibet has only been photographed once before, appearing on a Christmas card produced by Harry and Meghan last year.
The Queen’s great-granddaughter turned one on the Saturday of the celebrations, and the Sussexes celebrated with a picnic and garden party at Frogmore Cottage.
Meghan and Harry said “incredibly touched by the countless birthday wishes for their daughter”, publicising the picture of Lilibet smiling in a pale blue dress on her birthday.
It is thought that the Queen, 96, and Prince Charles, 73, were introduced to the monarch’s young namesake for the first time during their visit.
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