Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry were in town for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, but they were noticeably absent when the Royal Family took their famous picture on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Colour celebration on June 2. It was previously announced that Meghan and Harry would not be on the balcony for the annual flypast, as only working members of the royal family and some of their children were invited this time around. Meghan and Harry decided to step down from their royal duties in 2020, and watched the Trooping the Colour parade from the Major General’s Office instead.
However, Kate Middleton and Prince William, along with their three children, were alongside the Queen for the celebrations. Other royal family members on the balcony included Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Essex. “After careful consideration, the Queen has decided that this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday the 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 spokesperson for Buckingham Palace explained.
The Trooping the Colour event, which celebrated Queen Elizabeth II’s 96th birthday, was the kick-off to a weekend full of Platinum Jubilee events. The Platinum Jubilee marks 70 years of service for Queen Elizabeth II. She hit her 70th anniversary in February, making her the first British monarch to ever do so.
Even though Harry and Meghan were not part of the special balcony moment, they were in attendance for the Platinum Jubilee with their kids, Lilibet, who turns 1 on June 4, and Archie Windsor, 3. This was Archie’s first time back in the U.K. since he left with his parents at the beginning of 2020. Meanwhile, royal family members got to meet Lilibet for the very first time, as she was born in the United States and made her first trip to England for her great grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee.
“[Meghan and Harry] know all eyes will be on them, which is always stressful, but at the same time, it’s going to be a chance for them to show the world that they’re still very much part of the family,” a source told HollywoodLife. “The whole hoopla about them not being on the balcony was way off the mark — they’re very pleased to be able to step back from that. The last thing they want to do is take away attention from The Queen.”
Prince Harry confirmed tension in his relationship with Prince William and Prince Charles during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021. However, the family was able to put the drama aside in honor of the family matriarch’s big weekend.