Kate Middleton and Prince William are paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth at a special service of thanksgiving that is also reuniting them with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived at St. Paul’s Cathedral on Friday for the event, which is part of a four-day celebration in honor of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Prince William and Kate sat on the opposite side of the aisle from Meghan and Harry. The service marked the first time that the Cambridges and Sussexes have been seen together as a foursome since Commonwealth Day in March 2020, which was Harry and Meghan’s final royal appearance before they stepped back from their roles as senior working royals. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who now live in California, arrived in the U.K. on Wednesday with their two children — Archie, 3, and Lili, who turns 1 on Saturday.
William and Kate kept looking forward as they passed Prince Harry and Meghan’s pew, where they were already seated. Harry also kept his eyes forward.
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Matt Dunham/AP/Shutterstock Prince William and Kate Middleton
The service will include bible readings, prayers and congregational hymns to recognize and give thanks for the Queen’s reign, faith and lifetime of service, according to Buckingham Palace.
Toby Melville – WPA Pool/Getty Images Kate Middleton and Prince William
Kate brought a hint of sunshine on a cloudy day in a pale yellow ensemble paired with a matching hat. She accessorized with the Bahrain Pearl Drop Earrings, a pair straight from her grandmother-in-law’s jewelry box that she has borrowed before.
Meanwhile, Prince William sported a morning suit adorned with his medals. (Harry did the same.)
Alberto Pezzali/AP/Shutterstock Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Several royal family members were in attendance on Friday, but the guest of honor, Queen Elizabeth, was noticeably missing. The palace announced on Thursday that the monarch would not be attending due to feeling “some discomfort” at Trooping the Colour due to ongoing mobility issues.
“Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend,” the statement said.
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The Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, also announced on Thursday that he would not be attending the service after he tested positive for COVID-19.
For the Queen, who has a deeply-held Christian faith, the service is an important moment to reflect, while for her family and the other members of the congregation and millions watching around the world, it is a chance to pay tribute to her record-breaking seven decades of service.
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The magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral — with its famous dome — is where William and Harry’s parents, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, married in 1981.
On Thursday, the royal family attended Trooping the Colour and a special beacon-lighting ceremony.
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Aaron Chown/PA Images via Getty Images Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
While William, Kate and their three children took part in the procession and palace balcony appearance during Trooping the Colour, Harry and Meghan watched the parade from the Major General’s Office, which overlooks the Horse Guards Parade. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were spotted charming a few young royals, including Zara Tindall’s kids, Lena and Mia, 8, and Peter Phillips’ daughter Savannah, 11.
Matt Dunham/AP/Shutterstock Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Earlier this week, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 and won’t be participating in the Platinum Jubilee events.
“I am deeply saddened to be missing the historic celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. However, I will be praying for The Queen and giving thanks for her extraordinary seventy years of service to us all. I will also be praying for our nation at this time of celebration and thanksgiving,” he said in a statement. “May The Queen’s example bring us together in unity and care for one another.”
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