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Behind The Scenes at Thanksgiving Service. And The Most Stylish Royals

The National Service of Thanksgiving for Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee celebration on June 3, Friday at St. Paul's Cathedral, saw the largest gathering of members of the British royal family since the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor in 2019.

The public also saw the royals' biggest fashion moment in three years. And they opted for gorgeous summer and spring colors for their outfits.

Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor, Peter Phillips, and Zara and Mike Tindall

The Prince of Wales represented his mother at the service. The Queen decided to pull out from the Friday event at St. Paul's Cathedral due to her mobility issues. She appeared briefly on the balcony of Buckingham Palace at Trooping the Colour before returning to Windsor Castle for beacon lighting.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall

The Service of Thanksgiving was also the first time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were seen in public alongside the royal family after stepping back from their royal roles in March 2020. 

Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Some royal observers expressed hope to see the royal brothers and their respective wives posed for photographers as one unit, but it did not happen. They arrived and left the church separately, although Prince Harry and Meghan greeted Zara and Peter Phillips after the service.

Behind-the-Scenes

There were things royal observers have noticed during the event, worth pointing:

1. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not join the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the procession with the clergy inside the church. Perhaps because they are no longer working royals.

Prince William talked to his aunt, Princess Anne
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex seated on the second row at the back of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester

2. Their sitting assignments were also on the opposite side of the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.  Harry and Meghan seated on the second row next to the Earl and Countess of Wessex, their children, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.

Right side: The Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Anne and her husband, Sir Timothy Laurence. On the second row are children of Princess Anne, Duke of Kent and his family, Princess Alexandra, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and their children and in-laws
Left side: The Earl and Countess of Wessex, their children, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. On the second row: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their spouses, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Lady Sarah Chatto and her family

Prince Harry seated beside Jack Brooksbank while Meghan seated next to her husband and beside Lady Sarah Chatto, the Queen's niece.

While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex mingled with his cousins, Zara and Peter, after the service, they were not seen being pictured together with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge unlike in the past.

Peter Phillips, Meghan, Harry, and Zara

3. Harry and Meghan also did not attend the reception after the Thanksgiving Service. Most members of the royal family who attended the service, including the non-working royals, made their way to a reception at London's Guildhall, except the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The reception was attended by members of the royal family and some 2,000 guests including current and former British Prime Ministers and their spouses, head of the government, and military personnel.

4. The Sussexes believed to have returned to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor right away after the church service to be with their children, Archie and Lili, who turned one year old today, June 4. 

There has been much speculation also that Lilibet Diana will be christened today, however, no palace insiders have ever confirmed such speculation.

It seems the christening did not also push through today as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were seen in Cardiff, Wales, for an official visit, with their children: Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

5. During the Thanksgiving Service, royal fans noticed how most royal couples arrived and left the church holding hands except for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William looked restless and tense while leaving the church, and just kept his hands to himself.

Thomas Kingston and Lady Gabriella Windsor-Kingston
Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent
Lord and Lady Frederick Windsor
Zara and Mike Tindall
Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their respective spouses, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

However, this observation about the Duke of Cambridge's behavior in public is no longer strange because he has been known with his aversion toward PDA.

He is not someone you would see cozying up with his wife in public. He is sweet in other ways, but never the PDA thing. Haven't seen him really holding hands with Kate in public engagements. 

Why the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge never do the PDA

According to Myka Meier, a royal etiquette expert, it’s what any person would do when they’re on the job. "The couple are likely to show very little PDA to remain professional during their designated roles".

While there's no specific rule in the royal book to restrict royals on PDA, royal family members like William and Kate tend to refrain displaying PDA while on official business for The Queen. 

Even Prince Charles rarely holds hands with Camilla in public. And the Queen was rarely seen also clinging to Prince Philip during his lifetime in public. However, there were rare occasions in the past when the Queen would cling to her husband's arm especially when they were on a private holiday in Balmoral.

However, it does not mean the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge don't like to let loose of themselves in public. They just choose to do things at the right moments. They once hugged each other during an event in the 2012 Summer Olympics. 

Prince William is just known with his formal demeanor when in public where everything means business to him and it does not mean he does not want to hold hands with Kate.

The contrasting behavior of the royal brothers towards PDA

Harry and Meghan during their times as working royals, they often held hands in public, even during official engagements. Prince Harry is always different from Prince William, he is more tactile, and tends to show more natural emotion in public compared to a more formal and serious William.

Biggest Fashion Moment

So far, the National Thanksgiving Service at St. Paul's Cathedral, saw the biggest display of fashion style of the royals in three years time. They did not disappoint the adoring public as they came in fabulous ensembles and accessories.

Duchess of Cambridge and Duchess of Sussex

Lady Sarah Chatto, Lady Gabriella Windsor, and Lady Frederick Windsor

Zara Tindall, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice
Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise Windsor
Zara Tindall and Lady Frederick Windsor (Sophie Winkleman)

Siblings! Lord Frederick Windsor and his wife, Sophie Winkleman or Lady Frederick Windsor, Lady Gabriella and her husband Thomas Kingston

Photo credit: The Royal Family, Princess Eugenie, People, Hello, Getty Images, AP and PA Wire

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Highlights of Trooping the Colour

Queen Pulled Out From The Service of Thanksgiving

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2 Comments

Drama Reviews said…
Love all the dresses and shoes! Especially Princess Beatrice and Kate Middleton. Fabulous!
Anonymous said…
Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Beatrice, and Lady Gabriella, are the one who stood out for me in terms of gorgeous dresses.