The Cambridge couple attended the Friday, June 3, event at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London after joining the 96-year-old monarch for the Trooping the Colour at Buckingham Palace one day prior. Kate, 40, stepped out in a springy look, wearing a pale yellow dress by Emilia Wickstead with a cinched waist. She accessorized with a matching hat, gloves and a pair of Elizabeth’s earrings. Her husband, 39, donned a classic black suit adorned with royal medals.
Inside the chapel, the duke and duchess did not sit near Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who returned to the U.K. for their first official joint royal event since the 2020 Commonwealth Day Service. The Suits alum, 40, dazzled in an all-white Dior trench coat dress, while Harry, 37, dressed similarly to his older brother.
A source exclusively told Us Weekly following the event that the palace chose not to seat the pairs beside one another to “avoid any unwanted attention.” Their seating arrangements were a result of Harry and Meghan’s 2020 step down from their senior royal duties, with current senior-ranking members of the family sitting closer to the front of the chapel, per the insider.
The Sussexes were photographed at the parade on Thursday, June 2, but they didn’t join the queen on the palace balcony. The monarch, whose historic 70 years of service are being honored throughout the weekend, was originally slated to attend the service on Friday, but she pulled out at the last minute.
“The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s Birthday Parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort,” a palace statement 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.”
Per 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.”
Though they didn’t see Harry’s grandmother on Friday, Harry and Meghan previously paid her a surprise visit at Windsor Castle in April. William and Kate, however, were not part of the royal family reunion.
“It was purely coincidental. Harry is coming back to visit soon and hopes to see William in person. They are trying to figure things out,” an insider exclusively told Us at the time, noting that William was out of town on a ski trip. “Harry and Meghan had a wonderful time seeing the queen again. It was one of the biggest highlights of their year so far.”
The former military pilot’s relationship with his sibling has raised eyebrows since October 2019, when Harry confessed in an ITV special that he and William were “on different paths.” The following January, the BetterUp CIO and his wife announced their plans to step back from their senior royal roles.
In February 2021, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the twosome would not return as working members of the royal family. One month later, Harry and Meghan detailed their decision in a bombshell CBS tell-all, making bold claims about the British royal family.
“The queen is insisting that the royals handle the matter privately,” a source told Us in March 2021 of the fallout from the interview. “William is struggling to hold back. He wants to get his side out there.”
Scroll down to see photos from inside the Service of Thanksgiving: