Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were noticeably absent from the Party at the Palace during Queen Elizabeth II‘s Platinum Jubilee. They were spending time “as a family” for daughter Lilibet Diana‘s first birthday, a source exclusively tells Life & Style.
“It was more important for them to be together as a family than attend the concert, especially as the Queen couldn’t make it,” the insider says. “They’ll talk more openly about their experience once the Platinum Jubilee celebrations are over.”
The Platinum Jubilee marks the Queen achieving 70 years of service following her taking the throne at the age of 25 after the death of her father, King George VI, in February 1952.
The Party at the Palace is a Jubliee-inspired concert, that takes place outside Buckingham Palace and featured performances by musicians like Diana Ross, the band Queen, and Rod Steward. The Queen also physically wasn’t at the star-studded event but appeared in a special video clip prior to the show alongside British icon, Paddington Bear.
The festivities were attended by senior royals Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla Bowles. Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton and their three kids, George, Charlotte and Louis were also in attendance.
The year’s event also marks Harry and Meghan’s first public appearance since stepping down from their royal duties. The pair walked away from their roles as senior royals in 2020 and permanently relinquished their duties as working members of the royal family in February 2021 to move toward becoming “financially independent.” The former royals moved to Montecito, California, where they are currently raising their two children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet.
While leading up to the weekend, it was unclear which events the former royals would attend, the Queen made it clear her grandson would not appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Colour, which took place on June 2.
The Trooping the Colour is especially important as the ceremony is performed by regiments of the British Army and the entirety of the royal family usually steps out. However, this year, the monarch restricted the photo op to senior members only.
“After careful consideration, the Queen has decided this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday, June 2, 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,” a statement from the palace read.
Despite the restrictions, Meghan and Harry “are happy to be in the U.K. and feel honored to be participating” during the Jubilee, another insider previously told Life & Style.