WORLD NEWS

Queen Elizabeth II skips Platinum Jubilee church service

Jun 3, 2022, 7:17 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 10:58 am

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive for a service of thanksgiving for...

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive for a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II at St Paul's Cathedral in London, Friday, June 3, 2022 on the second of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee. The events over a long holiday weekend in the U.K. are meant to celebrate the monarch's 70 years of service. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, Pool)

LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, joined other members of Britain’s royal family on Friday for a church service honoring Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the throne, making their first public appearance in the U.K. since stepping back from royal duties two years ago.

The queen skipped the event at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, which came on the second of four days of festivities marking her Platinum Jubilee. The 96-year-old monarch has had difficulty moving around in recent months and experienced “some discomfort” after smiling and waving to throngs of supporters from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on Thursday afternoon.

But royal watchers quickly shifted their focus to Harry and Meghan, who held hands as they walked down the long central aisle accompanied only by a military officer in a scarlet dress tunic. Other guests craned their necks to watch the couple take their places in the second row, underscoring their lesser roles as non-working members of the royal family.

Prince Charles, who represented the queen, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, had special chairs in the front row on the other side of the central aisle. Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge were seated next to them.

Harry and Meghan sparked tensions within the royal family when they moved to California and signed lucrative media contracts. The rift deepened after they made allegations of racism and bullying in the royal household. But they flew back to Britain for the jubilee celebrations, bringing their son, Archie, and daughter, Lilibet, who had never met her great grandmother the queen.

“This is, again, Elizabeth II trying to put on a united front, bringing her family together one last time, probably, during her reign, so that … handing over to the next monarch, she can be seen to have done at least publicly her best to try and unite the divisions that have opened up within the family group over the last couple of years,” Ed Owens, author of “The Family Firm: Monarchy Mass Media and the British Public 1932-53” said in an interview before the jubilee.

The service of thanksgiving took place a day after the celebrations opened with the glittering military parade known as Trooping the Color, an event that has marked the sovereign’s official birthday for some 260 years.

Following the event, tens of thousands of royal supporters cheered wildly as Elizabeth joined other senior royals on the palace balcony and 70 military aircraft roared overhead in salute.

The queen doggedly appeared later in the evening outside her home at Windsor Castle for the final moments of an international beacon lighting ceremony. Moving slowly and with some difficulty she pressed an illuminated globe that sent a river of lights flooding toward Buckingham Palace, where a sculpture of living trees was lit up.

Though the palace said she had enjoyed the festivities, the queen apparently decided that another trip from Windsor back into London on Friday might be a bit much. Prince Charles again stood in for his mother at the church service, as he has often done of late.

But the queen was still part of the service as participants assumed she was watching on television.

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell spoke directly to her in his sermon, playfully riffing on her love of horse racing.

“I’m afraid I don’t have any great tips for the Derby tomorrow, but since the scriptures describe life as a race set before us, let me observe that your long reign reflects the distance of Aintree rather than the sprints of Epsom …,’’ he joked. “But with endurance, through times of change and challenge, joy and sorrow, you continue to offer yourself in the service of our country and the commonwealth.”

“Your Majesty, we’re sorry you’re not with us this morning, but we are so glad you are still in the saddle,” he added. “And we are all glad that there is still more to come.’’

___

Follow AP’s coverage of Queen Elizabeth II at https://apnews.com/hub/queen-elizabeth-ii

KSL 5 TV Live

World News

"Mary Poppins," which was rated U for Universal upon its 1964 release, is now rated PG in the UK be...

Harmeet Kaur, CNN

‘Mary Poppins’ gets a new age rating in the UK over its use of a racial slur

A British film industry group has raised the age rating for the beloved children’s classic “Mary Poppins” over discriminatory language.

3 days ago

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is preparing to perform its last two concerts in the Philippi...

Dan Rascon

Tabernacle Choir prepares to perform at renowned Mall of Asia with Filipino press day

The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square is preparing to perform its last two concerts in the Philippines with a press day. Afterward, the choir will continue on with its world tour.

3 days ago

Aaron Bushnell as seen from his LinkedIn profile. Bushnell set himself ablaze outside the Israeli E...

Michael Balsamo, Associated Press

US airman dies after setting himself ablaze outside Israeli Embassy in Israel-Hamas war protest

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force has died after he set himself ablaze outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., while declaring that he “will no longer be complicit in genocide.”

3 days ago

The Birmingham England Temple Rendering...

Michael Houck

Church releases location for Vancouver Washington Temple, renderings for England, US temples

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released the site location of the Vancouver Washington Temple and artistic renderings for temples in England, Nevada and Texas.

4 days ago

FILE - This May 20, 2013, file photo shows a first edition copy of the first Harry Potter book "Har...

Associated Press

Proof copy of Harry Potter book, bought for pennies in 1997, sells for more than $13,000

A proof copy of the first Harry Potter novel that was bought for pennies in a second-hand bookshop almost 30 years ago has sold at auction for 11,000 pounds ($13,900.)

4 days ago

Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry, from Virginia, were spending the winter cruising the Eastern Caribb...

Sharif Paget, Chris Boyette and Polo Sandoval, CNN

2 Americans believed dead after yacht allegedly hijacked in Grenada

The family of two Americans who may have been killed after prison escapees allegedly hijacked their yacht in Granada are clinging to hope the couple might be found alive.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Queen Elizabeth II skips Platinum Jubilee church service