The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Prince Andrew will not appear in the traditional balcony line-up at this year’s Trooping the Colour, with only working royals taking part.
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Although Harry and Meghan, along with other family members, have been invited to join in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the monarch has chosen to appear with a reduced number of her relatives for the key moment.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: “After careful consideration, The Queen has decided this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2 June will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen.”
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The statement ends weeks of speculation as to who might appear alongside the monarch as she watches the famous Red Arrows flypast in her Platinum Jubilee year.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not appear on the balcony
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, seven and four-year-old Prince Louis will all join her, as will the Earl and Countess of Wessex and their children Lady Louise Windsor, 18, and James, Viscount Severn, 14.
Princess Anne will appear, along with her husband Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, who is attending with the Queen’s permission because he is “a frequent attendee and support to the Princess Royal on official engagements,” said the spokesman.
Her Majesty’s cousins the Duke of Kent, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra will also take part.
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Prince Andrew will also be missing from the balcony appearance
The wider royal family traditionally packs the balcony to watch the flypast after the Queen’s official birthday parade, with appearances from many of her great-grandchildren, such as Savannah and Isla Phillips. But this year the smaller line-up means there will be no awkward family moments on public display.
Prince Andrew, who stepped down from royal duties in 2019 and earlier this year paid millions in an out-of-court settlement of a civil sexual assault case, will not be seen on the balcony.
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Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan, who have not yet confirmed whether or not they will fly to the UK for the Queen’s milestone celebrations, will not appear in the line-up, in the wake of their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they alleged that an unnamed member of the family made a racist remark about their unborn son Archie.
But a royal source said: “They are much loved members of the family and they would be invited to family events.”
The Queen will be joined by working members of the royal family
So far, it is the only confirmed balcony appearance for members of the Royal Family over the long weekend, but the wider family is expected to attend events such as the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 3, the Epsom Derby and the Platinum Party at the Palace on June 4 and at the Big Jubilee Lunch – which includes a flagship event at The Oval cricket ground – and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant on June 5.
The Pageant procession will be led by the Gold State Coach, appearing on the streets of London for the first time in 20 years, and while the Queen will not be riding in it, archive footage from her Coronation Day will be shown on the windows to “recreate the magic” of the historic day.
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The Queen herself is not yet confirmed to be attending any of the events, but she is said to be “planning to attend” both Trooping the Colour and the Service of Thanksgiving. “Her Majesty is looking forward to the weekend and will be taking part in the celebrations, but her presence will not be confirmed until much nearer the time or even on the day itself,” said a Palace spokesman.
Her Majesty will mark her official birthday on June 2
The Queen has missed Trooping the Colour just once during her 70-year reign when it was cancelled due to a national rail strike in 1955. The monarch has been suffering from mobility problems in recent months and some changes have been made to traditional events for her comfort.
There will be no ceremonial journey to St Paul’s Cathedral and the Queen will use a different entrance to avoid the steps. And HELLO! understands that she will not be staying overnight at Buckingham Palace during the long weekend.
For the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the reservicing of the Palace has been timed to allow some special events to take place, but construction work is ongoing in many parts of the building. Workmen will need to make parts of the East Wing safe for members of the Royal Family to be able to access the balcony.
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