The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Duke of York will not be joining other royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony after the trooping the colour that kicks off the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations.
The Queen has decided only working royals will gather on the balcony for the traditional flypast at the conclusion of the ceremony on Thursday 2 June.
A Buckingham Palace source said: “After careful consideration, the Queen has decided this year’s traditional trooping the colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2 June will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the royal family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen.”
Other family members, including Harry, Meghan and Andrew, will be invited to jubilee events including a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. Aides have not confirmed or denied that the jubilee weekend could feature a second balcony appearance, after the jubilee pageant on Sunday 5 June, to which other family members could be invited.
The source said family members would be invited to the jubilee events. “We have always made that clear.”
Harry and Meghan were reportedly invited by the Queen to take part in a jubilee balcony appearance after the couple’s brief low-key visit to his grandmother en route to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands last month.
A spokesperson for the couple said: “Prince Harry and Meghan are excited and honoured to attend the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations this June with their children.” It will be the first time Harry and Meghan have brought their family to the UK since leaving for the US.
During the diamond jubilee just six members of the royal family – the Queen, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge and Harry – appeared on the balcony, interpreted as a reflection of Charles’s desire for a slimmed-down monarchy. During the golden jubilee, the royal family made a balcony appearance after the jubilee pageant.
The trooping balcony appearance is the only one confirmed in advance of this jubilee. The Queen’s decision means that on the balcony after trooping the colour she will be joined by Charles and Camilla, William and Kate, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra. In addition, the Cambridge and Wessex children are expected to appear, as is Sir Tim Laurence, the husband of Princess Anne.
The Queen, who has cancelled several recent high-profile engagements owing to mobility issues, is said to be planning to take part in the celebrations, but it is not known which events she will attend.
The source said: “Her Majesty is looking forward to the weekend and will be taking part in the celebrations but her presence will not be confirmed until much nearer to the time or even on the day itself.”
Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace has revealed that the Gold State Coach, seen at coronations, jubilees and other high-profile events since it was built in 1762, will be a highlight of the platinum jubilee pageant.
It will be drawn by eight Windsor Grey horses along the pageant route on Sunday 5 June. The Queen herself will not be seated in it, but showing in the remodelled coach windows will be archive footage of the young Queen recorded on Coronation Day.
The third oldest surviving coach in the UK, made of giltwood and weighing four tonnes, it will be its first appearance on London’s streets for 20 years.