Harry and Meghan attend Jubilee service as Queen Elizabeth II skips church

The West Australian
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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral.
Camera IconPrince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral. Credit: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images

Members of Britain’s royal family attended a Friday church service honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne, although the queen herself is skipping the event at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London due to difficulty getting around at age 96.

The service of thanksgiving is taking place on the second of four days of festivities celebrating the queen’s Platinum Jubilee. On Thursday, thousands of royal supporters cheered wildly as the queen joined other senior royals on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch 70 British military aircraft fly past.

Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, waves as she arrives for a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul’s Cathedral in London Friday June 3, 2022 on the second of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. The events over a long holiday weekend in the U.K. are meant to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years of service. (Toby Melville, Pool Photo via AP)
Camera IconBritain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, waves as she arrives for a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Credit: Toby Melville/AP

The queen decided not to attend Friday’s church service after experiencing “some discomfort” during Thursday’s events. She will watch the event unfold on television as Prince Charles stands in for her.

The congregation at St. Paul’s include members of the royal family, senior politicians, diplomats and more than 400 essential workers, charity volunteers and members of the armed forces who have been invited in recognition of their service to the community.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Prince Charles, Prince of Wales arrives for the National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen at St Paul's Cathedral on June 3, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Daniel Leal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Camera IconPrince Charles, Prince of Wales arrives for the National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen at St Paul's Cathedral. Credit: WPA Pool/Getty Images

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell is set to deliver a sermon. Cottrell stepped in after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tested positive for COVID-19. The service will begin and end with the tolling of Great Paul, the largest church bell in Britain.

Friday’s televised church service brought the first public appearance by Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, during their visit to Britain for the jubilee.

Fans gather outside St Paul's cathedral, London, ahead of a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, in London Friday June 3, 2022 on the second of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. The events over a long holiday weekend in the U.K. are meant to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years of service. (Daniel Leal, Pool Photo via AP)
Camera IconFans gather outside St Paul's cathedral, London, ahead of a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, in London. Credit: Daniel Leal/AP

The couple, who gave up royal duties and moved to California two years ago, kept a low profile Thursday, appearing only in photographs shot through the windows of the building from which members of the royal family watched the Queen’s Birthday Parade.

But on Friday they were back center stage. As Harry and Meghan proceeded on their own down the long nave of the cathedral, people inside the church craned their necks to watch them.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds arrive for a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral in London, Friday, June 3, 2022 on the second of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. The events over a long holiday weekend in the U.K. are meant to celebrate the monarch's 70 years of service. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)
Camera IconBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds arrive. Credit: Matt Dunham/AP
Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives for a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul’s Cathedral in London Friday June 3, 2022 on the second of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. The events over a long holiday weekend in the U.K. are meant to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years of service. (Daniel Leal, Pool Photo via AP)
Camera IconBritain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives. Credit: Daniel Leal/AP

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