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Meghan, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, returned to the UK for jubilee celebrations last week, but they only appeared at two royal parties over the weekend. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were seen watching Trooping the Color parade on Thursday from the Major General’s office at the Horse Guards Parade with a group of senior royals, but they did not appear on the balcony lineup.
The 96-year-old was joined by Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Cambridge and Success on the Royal Flying Air flight that concluded the King’s official birthday celebrations.
It was announced before the start of the platinum jubilee celebrations that only members of the royal family will be out on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to take pictures.
The palace said the Queen made the decision “after careful consideration”.
The royal brand expert told Express.co.uk that keeping a low profile, largely avoiding accusations of casting a shadow over the King’s historic achievement, would be seen as a deliberate move by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan, 40, and Prince Harry, 37, returned to the UK to celebrate their jubilee last week
The Sussex family climbed the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in central London for the Thanksgiving service
Professor Pauline McClaran of Royal Holloway, University of London explained that Meghan and Harry’s careful navigating of their Jubilee appearances is likely to be viewed by the following audience as ‘considerate’ behaviour.
She said the failure of the Sussex family to appear on the balcony was “well justified in advance”, with the reasons for the decision based on common sense.
The pair were comically captured silencing the young royals during the show, but were aware of cameras pointing their way.
However, Prof McClaran said: “Kate’s position on the balcony beside the Queen shows how much she was valued and seen as an important part of the family on their way into the future.”
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Professor McClaran: “Kate’s position on the balcony next to the Queen shows how much she is appreciated.”
On Friday, the Sussex family climbed the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in central London for a national service of thanksgiving, which the Queen withdrew from the audience “with great hesitation”.
Professor McClaran described their appearance at St Paul as “going well”, with “some cheering for them” as they made their way to the cathedral.
She added: “It looks like they haven’t caught it (and since they arrived) and this will be seen as a consideration rather than a pursuit of the spotlight.”
She said the appearances chosen would influence how she perceives the royal family they have strayed from.
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Professor McClaran said the appearance of Saint Paul “will strengthen their royal ties and give their brand some momentum as well”.
While Trooping the Color’s balcony look was more eclectic in her participation, she added, “Serving St Paul was more about the extended royal family, so there will always be a part of that, even if they are not seen as essential members of the business.”
It was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not attend the Platinum Jubilee Gala at the Palace on Saturday evening, as they were spending the day in their private capacity.
The party, which featured performances from some of the music industry’s biggest names, drew 22,000 people to the mall.
But the Duke and Duchess missed out on Saturday’s events, their daughter Lillipet celebrating her first birthday that day.
Reports also indicate that the Queen first met her younger name over the weekend, although the palace has not officially confirmed this.
Sussex family biographer Omid Scobey told the BBC on Friday: “I think people are expecting some kind of extravagant big birthday event, we’ll be seeing pictures of it.
“From what I’ve been told, we shouldn’t expect anything.
“Those moments with Lilibet were very special between them and the Queen and of course we know how much she looks forward to it.”
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