Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Commonwealth Day appearance over the weekend was their last official one as senior royals – and it turns out that not everything went to plan.
According to The Daily Mail, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were set to enter Westminster Abbey in procession alongside the Queen and other senior members of the royal family, as tradition dictates. The VIP party included the Queen, Prince Charles and his wife Camila, and Prince William and Kate.
But just before the ceremony began, Harry and Meghan were informed that they were no longer permitted to enter with the rest of the family. Instead they had to take their seats first, then watch the rest of the VIPs arrive.
Reportedly, Harry and Meghan weren’t too pleased with this last-minute change of events. In order to smooth things over, William and Kate offered to leave the official procession and instead take their seats with the Sussexes.
However, some have noted that the official printed order of service stated that the Cambridges would enter with the main royal party.
Those who watched the service commented on the frosty exchange between the two brothers, as the so-called Fab Four merely exchanged smiles rather than embracing as they have at past Commonwealth Day events.
Buckingham Palace insisted there was no protocol change, claiming there is “no set format for this annual service”.
At last year’s Commonwealth Day service, Harry and Meghan – who was then pregnant with their son Archie – entered the abbey in the Queen’s procession.
Meghan and Kate stunned in brightly-coloured gowns and matching accessories. Meghan opted for an emerald green cape dress, by Emilia Wickstead – a label loved by the Duchess of Cambridge. Meanwhile Kate dug out a burgundy coat dress that she previously wore for Christmas 2018, designed by Catherine Walker.
This Commonwealth Day service was the last scheduled official engagement for Harry and Meghan, before they leave the UK at the end of the month and resettle in North America.