Buckingham Palace revealed a major update regarding Queen Elizabeth’s upcoming Trooping the Colour celebrations, which are a second official celebration of the sovereign’s birthday.
“After careful consideration, the Queen has decided that this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd of 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,” the palace said in a statement shared with HuffPost on Friday.
The announcement means that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be present at the balcony event, which had been seen as a potential public moment of reconciliation for the Sussexes and members of the royal family.
The royals who will stand alongside the queen include Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince William, Kate Middleton and their three children; Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex and their two children; Princess Anne and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester; and the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra.
The palace’s announcement also means that Prince Andrew will not attend, as he is not a working royal.
Of course, there are key differences in the conditions under which the Sussexes and the Duke of York are not working royals.
Harry and Meghan announced their intention to step back as senior members of the royal family in January 2020. The Duke of York, on the other hand, stepped back from royal duties in 2019 after granting a disastrous interview to BBC “Newsnight” over sexual assault allegations against him and his ties to sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. The duke has long denied the accusations and recently reached an out-of-court settlement with his accuser, Virginia Giuffre.
Following the palace’s announcement on Friday, the Sussexes made clear that they will be attending Platinum Jubilee celebrations in honor of the queen’s 70 years on the throne.
“Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are excited and honoured to attend The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this June with their children,” a spokesperson for the couple said in a statement shared with HuffPost on Friday.
It was not previously known whether the Sussexes ― or their children ― would be attending Jubilee events or appearing at Trooping the Colour.
Harry said during an interview with Hoda Kotb last month that he wasn’t sure if he’d attend the Jubilee celebrations.
“There’s lots of things — security issues and everything else,” the prince said at the time. “So this is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that, you know, I can get my kids to meet her.”
Archie has met the queen, but Harry and Meghan’s second child, Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, has reportedly not met her face-to-face. People magazine reported last year that the couple had introduced the queen to Lili via video calls.