MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry won’t be part of the Queen’s procession at today’s Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey, it has been confirmed.
Meghan and Prince Harry will quietly take their seats inside Westminster Abbey instead of waiting for the Queen on the premises of the splendid church in central London, according to a royal expert. Similarly, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William, will be escorted to their positions inside the church ahead of the start of the ceremony.
Last year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in the Queen’s procession through the aisle of Westminster Abbey.
However, today the couples will be separated from Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who will greet the monarch outside the Abbey and walk behind her towards their seats ahead of the solemn ceremony, the Daily Mail’s royal correspondent Rebecca English said.
She wrote on Twitter: “Confirmed: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be part of the Queen’s procession through Westminster Abbey at the start of the Commonwealth Service as they make their final official appearance as senior royals #HarryandMeghan
“#HarryandMeghan are joining the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they carry out their last public royal duty before they step down as senior working royals.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry won’t be part of the Queen’s procession in Westminster Abbey today (Image: GETTY)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are stepping down as senior royals on March 31 (Image: GETTY)
“But unlike last year #HarryMeghan will be conducted to their seats rather than waiting for the Queen’s arrival and walking through the Abbey with the monarch and other senior royals.”
This move will spare the Sussexes and the Cambridges from scrutiny over their interactions with other senior royals.
Last year, Meghan and Prince Charles were spotted sharing a laugh ahead of the beginning of the ceremony, and the Cambridges and the Sussexes were filmed and photographed chatting.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry and Kate and Prince William won’t take part in the procession with the Queen this year (Image: GETTY)
Express.co.uk has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.
Meghan and Harry haven’t publicly met the Cambridges, Camilla or the Prince of Wales since mid-November, when they all attended the solemn ceremony at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
But they have were spotted joining the Queen for Sunday service yesterday in Windsor.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attending the Mountbatten Festival of Music on Saturday night (Image: GETTY)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are expected to sit in the second row at the abbey today (Image: GETTY)
Today’s televised ceremony will see approximately 2000 people in attendance, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, ambassadors, dignitaries from Commonwealth state members and 800 school pupils.
According to the protocol, the royals will arrive at the abbey in order of precedence, which means Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Prince Edward will be the first to arrive.
They will be followed by Meghan and Harry and Kate and William.
Tradition dictates that Prince Harry sits with his wife in the second row of seats behind Prince Charles and Prince William during the service.
Today marks Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s last royal duty (Image: EXPRESS)
The Duke of Cambridge will be separated from Kate, as one of the direct heirs to the throne.
This news comes on the day Meghan and Harry are due to bow out of their royal lives, as they have no other official engagements scheduled this month.
Meghan and Harry are stepping down as senior royals on March 31, after which they will no longer be able to carry out royal duties, use their HRH styles or retain the word ‘royal’ in their brand name.
In turn, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be free to pursue private financial ventures and live abroad.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at last year’s Commonwealth Day service (Image: GETTY)
Ahead of today’s service, the Queen issued a message of unity that will be printed in the programmes at Westminster Abbey.
Praising the diversity that can be found in the Commonwealth, the Queen said: “On Commonwealth occasions, it is always inspiring to be reminded of the diversity of the people and countries that make up our worldwide family.
“We are made aware of the many associations and influences that combine through Commonwealth connection, helping us to imagine and deliver a common future.
“This is particularly striking when we see people from nations, large and small, gathering for the Commonwealth Games, for meetings of Commonwealth governments, and on Commonwealth Day.
“Such a blend of traditions serves to make us stronger, individually and collectively, by providing the ingredients needed for social, political and economic resilience.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK