June 3 (UPI) — The absence of Queen Elizabeth II and the presence of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle highlighted Friday’s religious services of thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral during the Platinum Jubilee in the queen’s honor.
After three appearances on Thursday, Queen Elizabeth, 96, skipped the event that brought together the elite of the British establishment in paying tribute to the longest reign in the country’s history.
Embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson was booed by some spectators upon his arrival at St. Paul’s but all was calm inside as he read from the New Testament during the service.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down from their roles as senior working members of the royal family in 2020 and later moved to California, where they are raising their two children.
The Sussexes watched the Trooping the Color parade Thursday with the royal family members at Buckingham Palace but did not appear publicly.
Among the 400 attendees at the service of thanksgiving were government and faith leaders, teachers, military members, and COVID-19 frontline workers.
Buckingham Palace announced late Thursday that Queen Elizabeth would not be attending Friday’s service.
“The queen greatly enjoyed today’s birthday parade and flypast but did experience some discomfort,” the palace said, according to ABC News. “Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty with great reluctance has concluded that she will not attend.”