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

Members of the British Royal Family attended a church service Friday in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne, although the Queen herself skipped the event at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral due to difficulties making ends meet at 96.

The Thanksgiving service takes place on the second of four festive days in honor of 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 planes fly by.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the National Thanksgiving Service at St Paul's Cathedral on June 3, 2022 in London, England.  Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee will be celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022 in the UK and the Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession on February 6, 1952. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Camera iconPrince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the National Service of Thanksgiving. Credit: Chris J RatcliffeGetty Images

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

The congregation at St. Paul’s includes members of the Royal Family, prominent politicians, diplomats and more than 400 essential workers, charitable 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 arrive for the National Thanksgiving Service to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee at St Paul's Cathedral on June 3, 2022 in London, England.  The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II will be celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022 in the UK and the Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession on February 6, 1952. (Photo by Daniel Leal - WPA Pool/Getty Images )
Camera iconPrince Charles, Prince of Wales arrives. Credit: WPA poolGetty Images

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell will deliver a sermon. Cottrell intervened after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tested positive for COVID-19. The service begins and ends with the ringing of Great Paul, the largest church bell in Britain.

The televised church service on Friday marked the first public appearance of Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, on their anniversary visit to Britain.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds arrive for a thanksgiving service 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 platinum jubilee celebrations.  The events over a long holiday weekend in the UK are designed to celebrate the monarch's 70th anniversary.  (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)
Camera iconBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie Symonds arrive. Credit: Matt DunhamAP

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

But on Friday they took center stage again. As Harry and Meghan walked alone through the long nave of the cathedral, people in the church stretched their necks to look at them.

Britain's Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, waves on arrival for a thanksgiving service 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 platinum jubilee celebrations.  The events over a long holiday weekend in the UK are designed to celebrate the monarch's 70th anniversary.  (Toby Melville, pool photo via AP)
Camera iconBritain’s Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, waves as she arrives. Credit: Toby MelvilleAP
Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives for a thanksgiving service for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral in London on Friday 3 June 2022 on the second of four days of platinum jubilee celebrations.  The events over a long holiday weekend in the UK are designed to celebrate the monarch's 70th anniversary.  (Daniel Leal, pool photo via AP)
Camera iconBritain’s Princess Anne, Princess Royal, arrives for a thanksgiving service for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Credit: Daniel LealAP

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