When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex got out of the car at Saint Paul’s Cathedral on Friday, they immediately attracted attention. When you are a world celebrity, you are a member of the royal family and you have not been seen in the UK for two years, after you left in controversial circumstances, it is difficult to go unnoticed. Not surprisingly, they seemed a little nervous. They held hands, and Meghan straightened the collar of her Dior coat. They talked to each other, but you could feel their caution, the BBC reports.
In front of St. Paul, where the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was held, had gathered many people. Most of them were dedicated supporters of the royal family. Will they receive them well?
The day before, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, had a discreet presence at the Trooping the Color military parade, which opened the series of events marking the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Excluded from the official balcony of Buckingham Palace because they are no longer active members of the British Royal House, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex watched the parade with their children from the former office of the Duke of Wellington.
No photos were taken on their arrival in the UK, and Meghan and Harry had no public appearances and no interviews. According to the BBC, the two do not want to be accused of “stealing” the attention of the press and the public, in a festive period dedicated to Queen Elizabeth II, who is celebrating 70 years of his reign.
On Friday, however, their appearance at St. Paul couldn’t be more discreet.
And as the Harry-Meghan couple climbed the steps of the cathedral, the crowd applauded and cheered. It was a spontaneous and warm response, welcome for the two, who made their first public appearance together after two years in the UK.
Their last royal engagement was in March 2020, at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey. At that time, the atmosphere was much darker. The frictions within the royal family were seen even in front of the cameras. Prince William and Prince Harry barely exchanged glances, though they sat side by side.
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How Harry and Meghan were arranged to avoid a direct encounter with William and Kate
The choreography of royal events is always careful and precise, and Friday was no exception. Prince Harry and Meghan were placed on the other side of the aisle facing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, thus avoiding any awkward images. They sat with Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank. Couples are close. Eugenie and Jack, along with their little one, visited the Sussex couple in California in February.
On their other side was Lady Sarah Chatto, the daughter of Princess Margaret and the queen’s beloved niece, a calm and comforting presence. It was an unsafe plan, the BBC said.
When the couple left the cathedral, however, a strange booing sound was heard from the crowd, but it was quickly lost amidst much applause. There was no real hostility.
Beyond the pomp, ceremony, parties and reflections, the Platinum Jubilee is also about the family, with all its flaws and tensions.
The queen was forced to attend the home service, but she had previously stated that, regardless of past or present problems, her nephew, Prince Harry, and his wife, Meghan, were welcome to celebrate the Jubilee.
The first public obstacle to Harry and Meghan’s brief return to royal duties has been successfully completed, the BBC concludes.
Editor: Luana Pavaluca
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