Prince Harry and Meghan appear, no queen at church service

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The palace said in a statement on Thursday evening that the 96-year-old queen was suffering from “malaise” and had decided “with great reluctance” not to attend the service after the “travel and activity” of the first day of celebrations to mark his 70 years on the throne.

The Queen’s health had been a concern as the Jubilee approached. She tested positive for Covid earlier this year and suffers from what the palace calls “episodic mobility issues”.

She was still able to make two appearances from the palace’s famous balcony as the nation began four days of events to salute her long reign.

Harry and Meghan were not among the royals who joined her there to watch the Royal Air Force flypast, with that honor reserved for working family members.

But they joined other members of the royal family, as well as political and religious leaders, at the cathedral in central London on Friday, although none of their children were with them for the event.

The country’s largest church bell, Great Paul, rang at 11 a.m. local time (6 a.m. ET), marking the first time it has rung for a royal occasion.

The service included prayers, tributes, hymns and Bible readings.

After the end, Harry and Meghan were the first to leave the cathedral, chatting briefly at the top of the steps before walking downstairs holding hands and smiling. They left in a waiting car.

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