(London) Farewell to the monarchy’s terrible children: Prince Harry and his wife Meghan and Prince Andrew are greeted during the parade marking the celebrations of Elizabeth II’s 70th birthday.
Posted at 10:25am
Updated at 1:29 p.m
The 96-year-old sovereign made the decision “after careful consideration,” a palace spokesman said on Friday, ending widespread speculation about the presence or absence of the exiled couple in California and the queen’s son on the balcony , a survivor of a sexual assault case.
The traditional balcony appearance for Trooping the Color on June 2 “this year will be restricted to Her Majesty and members of the Royal Family performing official public engagements on behalf of the Queen,” the spokesman said.
A total of 18 members of the royal family are expected, including Crown Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, as well as his son William, his wife Kate and their three children.
Although not an active member of the monarchy, the husband of Princess Anne, Elizabeth’s only daughter, will also be present for his wife’s “support” during their engagements, according to Buckingham Palace.
Four days of celebration, eagerly awaited by Britons, who will benefit from an additional bank holiday to mark the occasion, are planned from June 2-5 for the platinum jubilee marking the 70th reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the unparalleled in the kingdom.
They begin with Trooping the Color, the grand military parade that officially celebrates the sovereign’s birthday each year.
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Prince Harry, 37, lives in California with Meghan, a 40-year-old former American actress, and their two children after they made the shock decision in 2020 to step down from the monarchy to pursue their own philanthropic and business projects.
However, a spokeswoman for the couple said they were “excited and honored” to attend other (unspecified) platinum anniversary celebrations with their children.
Their son Archie will turn 3 on Friday, while their daughter Lilibet, who was never introduced to the Queen in person, will turn one on June 4 during the anniversary celebrations.
Prince Andrew, 62, the Queen’s second son, has been stripped of any official role after being swamped by the Epstein scandal. Discreet ever since, in February he reached an amicable settlement with an American who had accused him of sexual assault.
However, he made a notable – and controversial – appearance on the arm of the Queen, who was leaning on a cane, during a religious ceremony honoring his late father, Prince Philip, in March.
The world’s oldest reigning monarch, Elizabeth II, who was widowed last year, celebrated her 96th birthday in private on April 21 and has now largely retired from public life due to mobility problems. She had celebrated the anniversary of her accession to the throne on February 6 with the same discretion.
The Trooping the Color ceremony, which has been canceled for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and will be broadcast on television and the big screen, will see more than a thousand soldiers and hundreds of musicians marching through central London to represent the army and about 240 horses. Cannon fire is also planned.
In addition to the Salut aux couleurs, a large concert is also planned, as well as a historical reconstruction of the 70-year reign of a queen who undeterred through times and crises, with thousands of popular lunches.