Members of the Royal Family attended a church service on Friday in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign, although the Queen herself is skipping the event at St Paul’s Cathedral in London due to difficulties to move at 96 years old.
The Service of Thanksgiving takes place on the second of four days of festivities celebrating 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.
The Queen decided not to attend Friday’s church service after feeling “some unease” during Thursday’s events. She will watch the event unfold on television as Prince Charles replaces her.
The St. Paul’s congregation includes members of the royal family, high-ranking politicians, diplomats and more than 400 essential workers, charity volunteers and members of the armed forces who have been invited in recognition of their service to the community .
Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell is due to deliver a sermon. Cottrell stepped in after Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby tested positive for COVID-19. The service will begin and end with the sound of the Great Paul, Britain’s largest church bell.
Friday’s televised church service brought the first public appearance of Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, during their Jubilee visit to Britain.
The couple, who renounced their royal duties and moved to California two years ago, kept a low profile on Thursday, only appearing in photographs taken through the windows of the building from which members of the royal family watched the Queen’s Birthday Parade.
But on Friday, they were back in the spotlight. As Harry and Meghan walked down the long nave of the cathedral alone, people inside the church craned their necks to watch them.
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