Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubliee has filled this week with pomp, circumstance, and open arms for Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
On Friday, festivities around the queen’s Platinum Jubilee (which commemorates her 70-year anniversary of becoming a monarch) carried on with a National Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate. The celebrations also marked Harry and Meghan’s first public appearance in the lively Platinum Jubilee events.
Queen Elizabeth herself was not in attendance Friday morning at the church service, as the 96-year-old monarch remained at Windsor Castle to rest after an active day of festivities Thursday.
While Harry and Meghan attended Thursday’s Trooping the Color parade, they were noticeably absent from the royal family’s anticipated appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony. According to the palace, the balcony event was limited this year only to the queen and royals currently “undertaking official public duties.” In 2020, Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step back from their royal duties as senior members of the royal family.
However, on Friday, Harry and Meghan were very much in attendance.
According to a press release from Buckingham Palace, the theme of public service was at the heart of the Friday event.
In keeping with the theme, 400 guests who exhibited a life of public service received invites to join the ceremony. In the past year, each guest had at some point been awarded honors by the queen. Some of the guests were honored for their work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, others for their roles as public servants, teachers, members of the Armed Forces, and voluntary groups.
Celebrations for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee will continue into the weekend, with Harry and Meghan expected to make more appearances.