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Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle weren't on the palace balcony during Trooping the Color

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are in the U.K. celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee but were not with the rest of the royals on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
/ Source: TODAY

Queen Elizabeth II and dozens of royal family members were photographed Thursday on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Trooping the Color parade honoring the British sovereign's birthday. The "balcony moment" is one that royal watchers look forward to year after year — and this one was especially notable as Trooping the Color also kicked off a weekend of events celebrating the queen's 70th year on the throne, known as a Platinum Jubilee.

Two famous faces missing from the balcony this year, however, were Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

Image: Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee 2022 - Trooping The Colour
Queen Elizabeth, center, and other working members of the royal family pose on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Color parade in London on June 2.Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Harry and Meghan, who currently reside in California, did indeed travel to the United Kingdom for the Jubilee celebrations but were absent from the balcony Thursday because only royals "undertaking official public duties" joined the queen for that appearance, according to Buckingham Palace.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back as working members of the royal family in early 2020 and moved to the United States with their young son, Archie, shortly after. Since then, they've welcomed a second child, a daughter named Lilibet, and have taken on various media projects including a deal with Netflix.

Members Of The Royal Family Attend Events To Mark The Centenary Of The RAF
Queen Elizabeth, Meghan and Harry on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Color event in 2018.Getty Images

In 2021, Harry and Meghan famously sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an interview that produced various explosive headlines. Harry alluded to a rift within the family, particularly with him, his father, Prince Charles, and his brother, Prince William.

It seems that Harry and his grandmother are on solid terms, though. He told TODAY's Hoda Kotb in an interview earlier this year about his recent visit with queen and how she has "a great sense of humor" with him.

As for celebrations this week, Harry and Meghan did attend Trooping the Color, watching the event from the Major General’s Office that overlooks the parade route. Meghan was photographed entertaining some of the younger royals in the family. She and Harry are expected to make at least one appearance with their two children throughout the weekend.