Announcing his absence “reluctantly” on Thursday evening, Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday with “a certain unease” felt on the first day of the celebrations. Having difficulty walking, the queen appeared there twice on the balcony of the palace.
The mass at St Paul’s Cathedral will mark the first public appearance of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan in the UK since they left for California two years ago.
Prince Andrew, 62, who has been forever deprived of his royal role, will not participate. Saray announced on Thursday that he had contracted Covid and World War II. He announced that he would not be able to attend this religious ceremony, which was held as part of the four-day festivities to mark Elizabeth’s platinum anniversary (70 years of reign), “with regret”. British monarch.
The return of Harry and Meghan, who arrived from the United States with their two young children to celebrate, has already caused a lot of hostile ink to flow.
“You are not welcome on the Jubilee,” Amanda Platell, a former spokeswoman for former Conservative leader William Hague, wrote to the Daily Mail last week. “Do not dare to steal the lights directed at the Queen,” warned royal photographer Arthur Edwards in the tabloid The Sun.
After the family tensions of the last two years, all gestures and glances during this mass are, of course, scrutinized with a magnifying glass.
Will Harry and William talk to each other? What about Meghan and Kate? For two years, relations between 37-year-old Harry and 39-year-old William, second in line to the throne, were almost non-existent. They don’t do well with her father, Prince Charles, who is the king’s heir.
Since their departure to California in 2020 and their sensational interviews on US television that were experienced as betrayal in the UK, Harry and Meghan have been among the most unpopular members of the royal family, Meghan ranked 14th with 23% of positive reviews, Harry 11% with 36%. . Only Prince Andrew is worse at 12% (latest YouGov poll).
The Queen’s second son, Andrew, no longer has an official role as he ended up paying several million dollars for sexual assault charges in connection with the Epstein affair in the United States.
His appearance on the monarch’s arm last March at Westminster Abbey for a memorial service for Prince Philip, who died last year, was poorly received by some of the British public.
Neither she nor Harry and Meghan were invited to the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Thursday, where tens of thousands of Londoners were applauded on the first day of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations. Meghan and Harry were seen watching the Salute to Colors military parade from another building in the distance, Andrew was invisible.
Dressed in a dove-blue outfit, the Queen appeared on the balcony with 17 members of the royal family, smiling, leaning against a cane.
Appearances of the monarch, who ascended the throne on February 6, 1952 at the age of 25, are becoming less and less frequent.
About 400 people who stand out for their contributions to the country’s life, including teachers, health personnel, representatives of the armed forces or charities, are expected to attend the religious service that will be held on Friday.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church who will serve, canceled it because he was suffering from Covid. He was replaced by the Bishop of York.
Celebrations will continue on Saturday with a big evening concert in front of Buckingham Palace, before thousands of luncheons and popular parties among neighbors on Sunday and a huge parade in the streets of London in the evening that will be attended by nearly 10,000 people.