Queen Elizabeth II skips the Platinum Jubilee church ceremony

Prince Harry and Meghan joined other members the royal family of Britain on Friday to attend a service in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's 70-year reign.

Queen Elizabeth II skips the Platinum Jubilee church ceremony

Prince Harry and Meghan joined other members the royal family of Britain on Friday to attend a service in honor of Queen Elizabeth II's 70-year reign. This was their first public appearance since they stepped down from royal duties two year ago.

The event at St. Paul's Cathedral, London, was skipped by the queen. It was the second day of celebrations marking her Platinum Jubilee. After smiling and waving to the throngs of cheering supporters on Thursday afternoon, the 96-year old monarch had difficulties moving in recent months.

Royal watchers quickly switched their attention to Harry and Meghan as they walked down the long central avenue, accompanied by a scarlet-colored military officer. Guests craned their necks as they watched the couple move into the second row. This was a sign of their less important roles as non-working royals.

Prince Charles, who was the representative of the queen, and his spouse, the Duchess, of Cornwall, had special chairs in front row on the opposite side of the central aisle. They were seated alongside Prince William and the Duchess, as well as their wives, the Duchess.

When Harry and Meghan moved to California, they caused tension within the royal family. They also signed lucrative media contracts. After they made claims of bullying and racism in the royal household, the rift grew. They flew to Britain with their son Archie and daughter Lilibet for the Jubilee celebrations. Lilibet had never met her great-grandmother the queen.

"This is Elizabeth II again trying to put on an united front, bringing together her family one last time, probably during her reign so that... handing over, she can be seen having done at least publicly her best try to unify the divisions which have opened up within her family group over the past couple of years," Ed Owens (author of "The Family Firm": Monarchy Mass Media, British Public 1932-53) said in an interview prior to the jubilee.

A day after the festivities opened with Trooping The Color, a glittering military parade that marks the sovereign's official birth anniversary for approximately 260 years, the service of thanksgiving was held.

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