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Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Attended Their Last Official Event As Working Royals

Negotiations between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the royal family about what the tabloids are calling "Megxit" were, well, tense. Then they all got together.

Posted on March 9, 2020, at 5:16 p.m. ET

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) attended their last official event as working members of the royal family Monday. The couple joined the Queen and other family members at the annual Commonwealth Day service in Westminster Abbey. The Sussexes will be "stepping back" as senior royals — you can read more about what exactly that means — for a one-year trial period.

Negotiations between Harry and Meghan and the rest of the royal family about what the tabloids are calling "Megxit" appear to have been, well, tense.

When the Sussexes announced their imminent departure before everybody had agreed on the details, the Queen made clear that she was not happy about it. Then, when the specifics had been worked out, Harry and Meghan made it clear they were unhappy with some of the Queen's rulings.

So, Monday's service was the first time the Sussexes have appeared in public with other members of the royal family since the announcement.

Here's how everything went down.

In accordance with official royal event protocol, the Sussexes arrived before the Queen and the other members of the royal family who are above Harry in the line of succession to the throne. Meghan made a bold fashion statement at her last official royal event in a vibrant green dress (Emilia Wickstead) and matching hat (William Chambers).

Tolga Akmen / Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Prince William and Kate Middleton) were the next royals to arrive. They went with a red theme. For those interested, Kate recycled a previously seen-in-public dress by Catherine Walker and wore a new hat by milliner Sally-Ann Provan.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images

After the Cambridges, Prince Charles and wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, showed up.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images

And then the Queen. Obviously.

Mark Cuthbert / Getty Images

The annual Commonwealth Day service is held in celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations, which, as defined by the royal family’s official website, is “a voluntary association of 53 independent countries, almost all of which were formerly under British rule.” It is the largest interfaith gathering in the UK.

Neither Harry and Meghan nor William and Kate processed down the aisle with the Queen. This isn't a big deal.

So, instead of a formal march, the Sussexes made their way to their seats together and delighted some of the children in the audience by waving at them.

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They were seated next to Harry's uncle, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

Harry's other uncle, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, was noticeably absent from the family event. He resigned from public royal duties in November, following scrutiny about his longtime friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Wpa Pool / Getty Images

Soon after Harry and Meghan sat down, William and Kate arrived (and, for the record, the Sussexes always sit behind the Cambridges at these sorts of events).

And this is how it went down.

Global News / YouTube

Obviously, the royals weren't the focus of the livestream for the entire time before the service, so who knows what happened when the video cameras weren't on them — but there were photographers, and this picture is, uh, pretty something.

Phil Harris / Getty Images

It did appear that Edward, Meghan, and Harry had a nice chat.

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And then the Queen starting making her way down the abbey aisle and everybody had to stand up and stop talking.

Phil Harris Daily Mirror / Getty Images

Charles and Camilla were part of the formal procession, so they got to their seats at the same time as the Queen, and there didn't seem to be any (or as much) awkwardness at their arrival.

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And then, after the service ended, all the royals walked out together.

(For more information about the actual service and not the people who attended it, you can watch the whole thing here and read about it on the official Commonwealth of Nations website here.)

Phil Harris / Getty Images

Harry and Meghan chatted with the event's performers and speakers.

Ben Stansall / Getty Images

And then they headed outside, where Meghan got a curtsy and a bouquet.

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She and Harry stopped to chat with the group of girls, who seemed delighted.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images

And then they drove away from official royal life!

Tolga Akmen / Getty Images

Harry and Meghan made a post about the event on their official Instagram account, "SussexRoyal," which is going to have to change to a different name pretty soon, since they won't be allowed to use the word "royal."

And that's it! The last official event as working members of the royal family for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex!

BBC


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