A memorable return! Queen Elizabeth II was overcome with emotion while kicking off her Platinum Jubilee with Trooping the Colour festivities at Buckingham Palace.
“The queen felt nostalgic being back at Buckingham Palace yesterday. While Windsor Castle is now her primary residence, returning there with her family brought back so many fond memories,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly about the 96-year-old monarch’s Thursday, June 2, appearance on the palace balcony for the Royal Air Force flypast.
Us confirmed in March that the royal matriarch moved to Windsor Castle full-time. To celebrate her 70 years on the throne, the queen was joined by her loved ones in London. Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla were by Elizabeth’s side following the parade. Prince William and Duchess Kate also appeared at the palace with their three children: Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle showed their support by watching the event from the Major General’s Office, alongside other members of the royal family. The couple, who traveled to the U.K. with their son Archie, 3, and daughter, Lilibet, 11 months, were later in attendance at the service of Thanksgiving on Friday, June 3.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, however, did not reunite with William, 39, and Kate, 40, inside the chapel. According to a second source, the decision was made by the palace. “Senior members of the royal family were seated in the front row and non-senior members in the second row,” the insider explained to Us, noting that the arrangement was meant to help “avoid any unwanted attention.”
The queen, for her part, chose to not appear at St. Paul’s Cathedral following the excitement of her birthday parade. “The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read on Thursday. “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.”
According to the palace, “The Queen is looking forward to participating in tonight’s Beacon lighting event at Windsor Castle and would like to thank all those who made today such a memorable occasion.”
That same day, the queen led the lighting of the Principal Platinum Jubilee Beacon at Windsor Castle, while William represented her at Buckingham Palace.
With reporting by Natalie Posner