Platinum Jubilee service of thanksgiving: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle expected to attend royal church service

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After making their way to the UK for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expected to reunite with the senior royals Friday.

The pair, who were not on the balcony during Thursday’s Trooping The Color, will attend the Thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s Cathedral Friday morning for Queen Elizabeth’s continued Platinum Jubilee celebrations honoring her 70 years on the throne.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to the United Kingdom this week in honor of the monarch and were seen celebrating with royal family members at the Trooping the Color parade. They were not permitted on the balcony, which was designated for working senior royal members.

Despite not appearing on the balcony, both Harry and Meghan were caught on camera shushing a few younger royals in a moment that has since turned viral.

QUEEN ELIZABETH THROUGH THE YEARS

One royal expert told Fox News Digital it “must have been painful for Harry and Meghan to be excluded, along with their children Archie and Lili, from the Buckingham Palace balcony.”

The ex-royals could appear at St.  Paul's Cathedral Friday for the Platinum Jubilee.  The Duke and Duchess of Sussex ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Color in 2019.

The ex-royals could appear at St. Paul’s Cathedral Friday for the Platinum Jubilee. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Color in 2019.
(Samir Hussein)

“But, in the end, it might have been for the best,” said Christopher Andersen, royal biographer and New York Times bestselling author of “Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan.”

“At the moment, Harry and Meghan are enormously unpopular in the UK. In a recent poll, an astounding 87% of respondents said they would actually boo Harry and Meghan if they showed up on the palace balcony alongside the rest of the royals.”

However, he noted that Prince Harry and his brother Prince William “are at least doing their best to appear to be getting along” for their “grandmother’s sake.”

According to another royal expert, during the Trooping The Color, the people were looking out for the former senior royals – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – as they have been the topic debate since stepping back from their roles two years ago, per Neil Sean .

All eyes will be on the Sussexes, William and Kate Middleton, Prince Charles, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and other members of the royal family as they appear at the cathedral on Friday.

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The cathedral was home to Thanksgiving services for the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees. Great Paul, the largest church bell in the country – which was made in 1882 and restored in 2021 – will be rung for the service. The bell has tolled on eight occasions, but this is the first royal occasion for which it will be rung.

Services begin at 11:30 am with Bible readings, prayers and hymns, and a new anthem by Judith Weir, master of the queen’s music, including words from the third chapter of the Book of Proverbs.

Prince Charles and Camilla

Prince Charles and Camilla
(Getty Images)

Royals in attendance are then expected at a reception at the Guildhall hosted by Lord Mayor beginning at 12:25 pm

Despite the queen’s attendance at the Trooping the Color event Thursday that honored her 96th birthday, the palace issued a statement saying Elizabeth would not attend Friday’s church service.

“The Queen greatly enjoyed today’s birthday parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort,” the statement said.

“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.

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. “

Queen Elizabeth II smiles on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Color alongside (LR) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall;  Prince Charles, Prince of Wales;  Prince Louis of Cambridge;  Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge;  and Prince Charlotte of Cambridge June 2, 2022, in London.

Queen Elizabeth II smiles on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Color alongside (LR) Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; Prince Louis of Cambridge; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; and Prince Charlotte of Cambridge June 2, 2022, in London.
(Chris Jackson / Getty Images)

Last month, the palace shared that the queen’s attendance at events throughout the Platinum Jubilee weekend would likely be confirmed on “the day itself,” and Prince William and wife Kate Middleton were tapped to lead the Jubilee celebrations as the most senior members of the royal family.

Harry and Meghan stepped away from frontline royal duties and moved to California in 2020, nearly two years after they married at Windsor Castle amid a host of familial allegations.

QUEEN ELIZABETH’S PLATINUM JUBILEE: HER MAJESTY WILL NOT ATTEND THE SERVICE OF THANKSGIVING

Shortly before her wedding, her father Thomas suffered a heart attack after it was revealed he had staged and sold photos of himself to alleviate family pressures.

During an Oprah Winfrey interview on “CBS This Morning” in March 2021, Meghan admitted her father was hunted down by the British press and showered with gifts in exchange for comment and stories about their family.

When Winfrey asked Meghan if she felt betrayed by her father for speaking to the tabloids – especially right before her wedding to Prince Harry – she responded, “If we’re going to use the word betrayal, it’s because when I asked him, when the comms team told us the story was coming out, we called my dad and I asked him, and he said, ‘No , absolutely not. ‘”

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Color June 2, 2022, in London.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Color June 2, 2022, in London.
(Chris Jackson)

Meghan said she tried to reason with him. “I just need you to tell me. If you tell me the truth, we can help. And he wasn’t able to do that … that for me has really resonated as a mother.”

“I look at Archie, and I can’t imagine doing anything to hurt my child. I can’t reconcile that,” Meghan added of her 3-year-old son. She has since given birth to daughter Lilibet who turns one June 4.

“Everyone has accountability. Look, [the tabloids] hunted my mom down. You’ve never heard her say a word. She’s remained in silent dignity for four years watching me go through this, “Meghan added.

Meanwhile, Prince Andrew was also supposed to be in attendance Friday, but palace officials revealed he tested positive for COVID-19.

“After undertaking a routine test, the duke has tested positive for COVID and with regret will no longer be attending tomorrow’s service,” a statement released Thursday said.

Andrew stepped down from senior royal responsibilities in 2019 and was stripped of his military titles and patronages in January after the revelation of his ties with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Virginia Giuffre accused the British royal of sexually abusing her when she was 17 years old and traveling with Epstein in 2001.

Prince Andrew, pictured in 2021, was expected to attend the Thanksgiving service at St.  Paul's cathedral but withdrew after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Prince Andrew, pictured in 2021, was expected to attend the Thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s cathedral but withdrew after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
(Steve Parsons / Pool)

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Giuffre, 38, reached a settlement with Andrew after a judge rejected the prince’s bid to win early dismissal of the lawsuit earlier this year. Despite the settlement, Prince Andrew never admitted to sexually assaulting Giuffre and has denied the allegations.

While he is still in the line of succession to the throne, he is ninth behind Harry and Meghan’s children. And he may not use “His Royal Highness” in any capacity.

The 62-year-old Duke of York is expected to attend Garter Day alongside the queen and other senior members of the British royal family. He will also be listed in the next day’s Court Circular, The UK Times reported.

The ceremony, which is recognized as one of the “highlights” of the royal family’s summer schedule, will take place at Windsor Castle June 13 for the first time in three years. The prince will attend in a private capacity as a royal knight.

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The queen participated in a dual Lighting of The Principal Beacon at Windsor Castle, as her grandson, Prince William, watched alongside thousands of revelers at Buckingham Palace Thursday evening in London.

Queen Elizabeth II touches the Commonwealth Nations Globe to start the lighting of the Principal Beacon outside Buckingham Palace in London at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, June 2, 2022, as part of Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Queen Elizabeth II touches the Commonwealth Nations Globe to start the lighting of the Principal Beacon outside Buckingham Palace in London at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, June 2, 2022, as part of Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
(Adrian Dennis)

She touched the Commonwealth Nations Globe to start the lighting ceremony, with beacon pageant master Bruno Peek standing nearby. Peek has overseen the Platinum Jubilee Beacons Project from its inception.

William was greeted by the Chair of The Queen’s Green Canopy, Sir Nicholas Bacon, and the designer of the “Tree of Trees,” Thomas Heatherwick.

The 70-foot structure was designed to honor the queen’s decades of service and stands tall outside Buckingham Palace.

More than 2,800 beacons were lit at the palace and across the UK, including atop the four highest peaks, as well as on the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories.

Fox News Digital’s Ashley Bittay contributed to this report

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