Prince William and Kate Middleton attended the Commonwealth Day festivities at Westminster Abbey, and things looked very different from past years in terms of guests.
While Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attended, Queen Elizabeth was noticeably absent.
Also missing, were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, both of whom have had a contentious relationship with the royals since leaving royal duties.
Prince William and Kate Middleton at Commonwealth Day but Queen Elizabeth was nowhere to be seen
Last Friday, Buckingham Palace confirmed the Queen would not be attending due to her age. The beloved monarch is almost 96 years old, and has cut back on her busy schedule in recent years.
She did, however, release her annual Commonwealth Day message, saying, “In this year of my Platinum Jubilee, it has given me pleasure to renew the promise I made in 1947, that my life will always be devoted in service.”
In a nod to the times, she said, “We are nourished and sustained by our relationships.”
In the last few months, she has pulled out of a string of events, after recovering from coronavirus and dealing with mobility issues.
While the Queen has always made it very clear that she will never abdicate, as some other European monarchs have done in the past due to their advanced age, she recently released a telling statement.
On February 5, she made it very clear she supports Prince Charles becoming King and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, becoming Queen Consort.
In a surprise to many, she said, “it is my sincere wish that, when the time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were no shows, but that was not a surprise
Also noticeably absent were Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, though this didn’t come as much of a surprise to royal watchers.
Prince Harry is currently involved in a High Court battle after losing his police protection when he and Meghan stepped down from royal duties.
In February, a spokesperson for Harry claimed he “does not feel safe” going back to the U.K. at the moment, and will not be returning for Prince Philip’s memorial on March 29 either.
Kate Middleton wore blue in support of Ukraine
Kate Middleton looked radiant as always in a bespoke Catherine Walker coat dress with a matching fascinator. She paired the outfit with a sapphire necklace and earrings previously owned by Princess Diana.
The outfit was seen as a tribute to Ukraine, whose flag contains the royal blue color as well as yellow. Kate and William met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife Olena at Buckingham Palace in October 2020.
Just a few days ago, Kate and William visited a Ukrainian Cultural Centre in London, where Kate wore a blue sweater and Ukrainian flag pin as a show of support as well.