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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle WILL join the Queen at St Paul’s Thanksgiving service

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will join The Queen at a thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral next week to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee – and Prince Andrew will be there too, it emerged today.

The LA-based couple will honour the monarch’s seven decades on the throne at the special service on Friday, June 3, alongside Her Majesty’s children, grandchildren and her older great-grandchildren.

It came is Meghan was begged by her estranged half-sister Samantha Markle to stop ‘watching and doing nothing’ after their father Thomas was rushed to hospital after he suffered a stroke. It scuppers Mr Markle’s plans to visit London for the jubilee, where he is said to have wanted to go to Windsor to demand his daughter, Harry and their two children come out to meet him.

Prince Andrew will also make a rare public appearance at St Paul’s for the first time since his father Prince Philip’s memorial service in March, The Telegraph reports, where he was brought in from the cold to support his mother as she walked in and out of Westminster Abbey. He is said to be visiting his mother daily at Windsor since he settled the multi-million dollar case brought against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s sex slaves.

But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of York will not be joining other royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony at the Trooping the Colour that kicks off the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations next Thursday. Only senior serving royals such as Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince William are invited.

24 hours later the eyes of the world will be on the Sussexes at St Paul’s, because it will be the first time the couple will be surrounded by such a large number of royals since their wedding at St George’s Windsor in 2018. Harry has hardly seen his father and brother since they emigrated to California, and Meghan has not seen them at all, as a feud has strained their relationships.

Since quitting as frontline royals, they have used Oprah and US TV news stations to fire transatlantic potshots at the Royal Family, including claims one senior member was racist and that Buckingham Palace aides ignored Meghan when she was suicidal while pregnant. Harry also accused Prince Charles of cutting him off financially and royal experts claim he ‘can’t stand’ his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, who he failed to publicly congratulate on being named a future Queen consort when the Prince of Wales becomes king.

But the Sussexes eldest son Archie, three, and daughter Lilibet, who turns one on Saturday, are unlikely to attend the service of celebration, with only the eldest great-grandchildren expected to attend. Prince George, eight, and Princess Charlotte, seven, are expected to be with their parents alongside cousin Mia Tindall, also eight.

The Queen’s presence is expected but a decision may be left to the 11th hour due to her ongoing mobility issues. At the Chelsea Flower Show this week, she was swept around in a new royal buggy. But with the steps at St Paul’s being exceptionally steep, palace aides have plans for her to make her way in through a side entrance, without being photographed if necessary, to help maintain the monarch’s dignity.

he Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle visit the sitting volleyball section of the fifth edition of the Invictus Games in The Hague, shortly after a secret visit to the Queen in Windsor. The couple will be at Her Majesty's Jubilee

he Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle visit the sitting volleyball section of the fifth edition of the Invictus Games in The Hague, shortly after a secret visit to the Queen in Windsor. The couple will be at Her Majesty’s Jubilee

The Queen (pictured at Chelsea this week) has not invited the Sussexes to the Buckingham Palace balcony the day before.

Next Friday will be the first time the Sussexes and the Cambridges (pictured at the Commonwealth Day Service in 2020) have been together in public for years

The Queen (pictured at Chelsea this week) has not invited the Sussexes to the Buckingham Palace balcony the day before. Next Friday will be the first time the Sussexes and the Cambridges (pictured at the Commonwealth Day Service in 2020) have been together in public for years

Prince Andrew, 62, will also join his mother at the Platinum Jubilee service next Friday, making a rare public appearance. He supported her at the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on March 29

Prince Andrew, 62, will also join his mother at the Platinum Jubilee service next Friday, making a rare public appearance. He supported her at the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on March 29

It is not known whether Meghan, who is estranged from her father Thomas Markle (together), is planning to go to his bedside after he suffered a stroke

It is not known whether Meghan, who is estranged from her father Thomas Markle (together), is planning to go to his bedside after he suffered a stroke 

A special Platinum Jubilee Service to mark the Queen's seven decades on the throne will be held at St Paul's Cathedral next Friday

A special Platinum Jubilee Service to mark the Queen’s seven decades on the throne will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral next Friday

Prince Andrew will appear alongside the Queen for Garter Day at Windsor Castle 

Prince Andrew is expected to appear alongside the Queen for Garter Day at Windsor Castle on June 13 despite the fallout of his sex abuse scandal and ties to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York will take part in the ceremony alongside other senior royals on what is one of the most important ceremonies in the Royal calendar.

His name will also appear in the next day’s Court Circular, and will attend Garter Day ceremonies as a Royal Knight.

There are now fears Andrew’s attendance at Garter Day celebrations could overshadow the event, especially after he was said to have agreed to step back from public life following the conclusion of the case.

Hundreds are expected to gather in Windsor to watch the procession, though it is not known whether The Queen will take part given her recent mobility and health issues.

In years past The Queen would don luscious flowing robes which she wore throughout the public procession and Garter Day church service.

She is said to be likely to attend the ceremony in the Garter throne room and lunch in the Waterloo Chamber this year, health permitting.

The news comes after it emerged Andrew, 62, will also take part in another Jubilee ceremony at Windsor Castle on June 13 alongside other senior royals. He will attend Garter Day ceremonies as a Royal Knight.

Nearly 700 years old, the Order is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain. The Knights, now both male and female, used to be limited to aristocracy, but today they are chosen from a variety of backgrounds, in recognition for their public service.

The annual iconic Garter Day procession, where The Queen and the Knights process in grand velvet robes, glistening insignia and plumed hats, is one of the most traditional ceremonies in the Queen’s calendar.

The Queen is sovereign of the Order and appoints Knights of the Garter without input from ministers, meaning that Prince Andrew’s appointment was considered as private. 

There are now fears Andrew’s attendance at Garter Day celebrations could overshadow the event, especially after he was said to have agreed to step back from public life following the conclusion of the case. 

Hundreds are expected to gather in Windsor to watch the procession, though it is not known whether The Queen will take part given her recent mobility and health issues.

In years past The Queen would don luscious flowing robes which she wore throughout the public procession and Garter Day church service.

She is said to be likely to attend the ceremony in the Garter throne room and lunch in the Waterloo Chamber this year, health permitting. 

The Queen and Prince Andrew are expected to be joined by The Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, among several other senior royals. 

She will be among seven other senior members of the royal family including Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

News of The Duke of York’s expected attendance at Garter Day celebrations comes as it was confirmed The Queen will not take the royal salute at the Trooping the Colour next month for the first time in 70 years, as she continues to delegate responsibility to senior members of The Firm. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with join the Queen for a service at St Paul's Cathedral next week for the largest gathering of royals since their wedding in 2018

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with join the Queen for a service at St Paul’s Cathedral next week for the largest gathering of royals since their wedding in 2018

Andrew was stripped of all his honorary military titles and designation HRH in January in light of the civil sex abuse case with Virginia Giuffre - a victim of Epstein who claimed Andrew had sexually assaulted her when she was aged just 17

Andrew was stripped of all his honorary military titles and designation HRH in January in light of the civil sex abuse case with Virginia Giuffre – a victim of Epstein who claimed Andrew had sexually assaulted her when she was aged just 17

The Queen can name members of the Order of The Garter without any approval of ministers and recognises those who have carried out great service to the public

Prince Charles, left, is an automatic member of the Order, while Prince William, right, is a Royal Knight, which is an 'extra' title under the order that is reserved for members of the Royal Family and does not count towards the limit

The Order of the Garter is a 700-year-old tradition which recognises great public service. Membership is limited to a maximum of 24 and is usually Lords and Ladies with The Queen, left in 2018, naming members as she sees fit

The news comes as the 96-year-old monarch continues to entrust members of the Royal Family with increased responsibilities as she faces 'episodic mobility problems'

The news comes as the 96-year-old monarch continues to entrust members of the Royal Family with increased responsibilities as she faces ‘episodic mobility problems’

The Queen will not take the royal salute at the Trooping the Colour for the first time in 70 years as she continues to delegate responsibility to senior members of The Firm. She is pictured on the balcony of Buckingham Place during the ceremony in 2019

The Queen will not take the royal salute at the Trooping the Colour for the first time in 70 years as she continues to delegate responsibility to senior members of The Firm. She is pictured on the balcony of Buckingham Place during the ceremony in 2019

The timings for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration in full  

Thursday June 2

10am – The Queen’s Birthday Parade – Trooping the Colour – begins.

10.30am – Members of the royal family leave Buckingham Palace for the parade ground.

The military spectacle will be followed by a balcony appearance by the Queen, it is hoped, plus key royals including the Cambridge children, to watch a special flypast.

9.25pm – Members of the royal family arrive to watch the lighting of the principal beacon at the palace – a 21-metre tall Tree of Trees sculpture.

More than 3,000 beacons are being lit across the UK and the Commonwealth.

Friday June 3

11am – The royal family begin to arrive at the service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral.

12.25pm – Members of the royal family afterwards attend a Guildhall reception hosted by the Lord Mayor.

Saturday June 4

5.30pm – The Epsom Derby race takes place. The Queen and her family are expected to head to the racecourse on Derby Day, where the monarch is due to be greeted with a guard of honour made of up to 40 of her past and present jockeys.

7.40pm – Members of the royal family arrive at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert.

8pm-10.30pm – The open-air concert in front of the palace, featuring stars including Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran and Diana Ross, is broadcast live on BBC One.

Sunday June 5

Street parties and Big Jubilee Lunches are staged across the country

2.30pm-5pm – The Jubilee Pageant takes place in central London, with a 3km carnival procession featuring a cast of thousands including puppets and celebrities and tributes to the seven decades of the Queen’s reign. It will move down The Mall and past the palace.

The finale will feature Ed Sheeran performing, and the singing of the national anthem in front of the Queen’s official residence.

Her Majesty’s birthday, on June 2, has historically seen the monarch’s personal troops, the Household Division on Horse Guards Parade, with the Queen herself attending and taking the salute. 

Instead this year, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Royal will ride on the parade as colonels of the Welsh Guards, the Irish Guards and the Blues and Royals.

According to the Sunday Times, Her Majesty still hopes to attend some of the ceremony, which kicks off four days of celebration to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

The news comes as the 96-year-old monarch continues to entrust members of the Royal Family with increased responsibilities as she faces ‘episodic mobility problems’. 

Earlier this month, Her Majesty missed the State Opening of Parliament for the first time in 59 years, with Prince Charles and Prince William given power to jointly act at the event on the Queen’s behalf. 

She has though made four recent public outings this month, including attending the Windsor Horse Show, star-studded Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Windsor and the opening of the Elizabeth Tube line, appearing in good spirits at all of them. 

Meghan Markle’s estranged sister has begged her to stop ‘watching and doing nothing’ after their father was rushed for emergency treatment after he suffered a stroke. 

Samantha Markle, 57,  compared her sibling’s lack of action to ‘elder abuse’ after she was accused of failing to contact her since news first broke of Thomas Markle’s ailing heath earlier this week. Retired lighting director Mr Markle, 77, who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, was struck down and lost his speech only a week before he had been due to fly to London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

It is not yet known whether Meghan, 40, who is estranged from him, will go to his bedside at a clinic in Chula Vista, California – only a few hours’ drive from the home she shares with Prince Harry in Montecito. 

But speaking to GB News’s Dan Wootton Tonight, Samantha Markle became emotional as she spoke of Meghan’s ‘negligence’ and accused her of failing to contact the family following her father’s stroke.

‘He’s been through so much,’ she explained. ‘Two heart attacks, a pandemic and now a stroke. None of us have heard from Meghan – that’s negligence.

‘If she can’t find it in her heart or have the moral conscience to step forward then shame on her. He doesn’t have a lot of time. She’s going to have to live with that for the rest of her life’. Ms Markle was contacted for comment.

When asked by Dan if she felt Meghan should offer to help with the medical costs moving forward, Samantha said: ‘She sees all of this. I’m getting the feeling that I would be spinning my wheels to try and appeal to her heart now.

‘She could have contacted him to work things out at any time and she hasn’t. How can she watch him suffer like this? Who does that?’

Mr Markle’s blood pressure had been high in the preceding days, it was said. It means that Mr Markle will miss the celebrations in London just as he missed Meghan’s wedding to Harry in 2018 after suffering a heart attack.

Speaking to GB News's Dan Wootton Tonight, Samantha Markle (right) became emotional as she spoke of Meghan's 'negligence' and accused her of failing to contact the family following her father's stroke

Speaking to GB News’s Dan Wootton Tonight, Samantha Markle (right) became emotional as she spoke of Meghan’s ‘negligence’ and accused her of failing to contact the family following her father’s stroke

Samantha Markle, 57, compared her sibling's lack of action to 'elder abuse' after she was accused of doing nothing when news broke of Thomas Markle's ailing heath earlier this week. They are pictured together above in 2008

Samantha Markle, 57, compared her sibling’s lack of action to ‘elder abuse’ after she was accused of doing nothing when news broke of Thomas Markle’s ailing heath earlier this week. They are pictured together above in 2008

Thomas Markle had revealed to MailOnline's Dan Wootton on GB News last month that he wanted to visit Britain for the Jubilee

Thomas Markle had revealed to MailOnline’s Dan Wootton on GB News last month that he wanted to visit Britain for the Jubilee

Mr Markle, who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, was taken by ambulance across the border to the US at around 9.30pm on Monday.

His son Thomas Jr, 55, was with him and is at the hospital near San Diego, while Samantha was last night said to be flying in from her home in Florida.

In the footage posted online, Mr Markle is seen lying on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask.

Two paramedics try to lift him while speaking in Spanish and ask him what his name is. Somebody behind the camera responds that his name is Thomas.

Speaking in English, one of the paramedics says: ‘I’m going to be your paramedic. You’re going to the US.’

Mr Markle was due in London next week and was to have been a guest on TV during coverage of the jubilee celebrations. The trip would have fulfilled his ‘long-held wish to visit Windsor Castle’, MailOnline’s Dan Wootton wrote.

His health, however, seems certain to have dashed that hope, just as it scuppered Mr Markle’s plans to walk Meghan down the aisle in 2018 when he was forced to pull out of the ceremony.

He underwent surgery to repair the damage and Prince Charles stood in for him, performing the father of the bride’s duties during the wedding service.

Timings for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend revealed: Where and when the royals will be celebrating the monarch’s 70 year reign…from Trooping the Colour to the Epsom Derby

By Harriet Johnston for Mail Online

The timings for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend have been unveiled with the celebrations just over a week away.

In mere days, the nation will gather to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee during an extended four-day Bank Holiday weekend which will see a service of thanksgiving held, Trooping the Colour and a Jubilee pageant staged. 

The monarch is expected to limit her appearances at the Platinum Jubilee to the Trooping the Colour – the parade and flypast that kicks off the celebrations on Thursday June 2 – and a service of celebration at St Paul’s Cathedral the next day, which will be attended by the entire Royal Family including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who have been banned from the Buckingham Palace balcony 24 hours earlier. But her presence is unlikely to be confirmed until the day itself. 

And now Buckingham Palace have unveiled the run-down of how the weekend will be organised hour-by-hour. 

Here is the rundown of what will happen as the nation pays tribute to the Queen’s 70 years as sovereign…

The timings for the Platinum Jubilee weekend have been unveiled with the celebrations just over a week away

The timings for the Platinum Jubilee weekend have been unveiled with the celebrations just over a week away

The monarch is expected to limit her appearances at the Platinum Jubilee to the Trooping the Colour - the parade and flypast that kicks off the celebrations on Thursday June 2 - and a service of celebration at St Paul's Cathedral the next day (pictured, Trooping the Colour in 2019)

The monarch is expected to limit her appearances at the Platinum Jubilee to the Trooping the Colour – the parade and flypast that kicks off the celebrations on Thursday June 2 – and a service of celebration at St Paul’s Cathedral the next day (pictured, Trooping the Colour in 2019)

The Queen and her family are expected to head to the racecourse on Derby Day, where the monarch is due to be greeted with a guard of honour made of up to 40 of her past and present jockeys

The Queen and her family are expected to head to the racecourse on Derby Day, where the monarch is due to be greeted with a guard of honour made of up to 40 of her past and present jockeys

THURSDAY JUNE 2 

10am – The Queen’s Birthday Parade – Trooping the Colour – begins.

10.30am – Members of the royal family leave Buckingham Palace for the parade ground.

The military spectacle will be followed by a balcony appearance by the Queen, it is hoped, plus key royals including the Cambridge children, to watch a special flypast.

9.25pm – Members of the royal family arrive to watch the lighting of the principal beacon at the palace – a 21-metre tall Tree of Trees sculpture.

More than 3,000 beacons are being lit across the UK and the Commonwealth.

More than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional Parade to mark The Queen’s official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June.

Beginning at Buckingham Palace, the procession will move down The Mall to Horse Guards’ Parade, joined by members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. 

Trooping the Colour will close with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by the Queen and the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Crucially the balcony appearance is limited to working members of her family, with the Duke of York and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex omitted from the royal line up.

Joining the Queen on the balcony for Trooping will be the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Princess Royal, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra, and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Also set to appear for the historic occasion will be Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis and the Wessexes’ children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

The head of state has made an exception for Anne’s husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim, who is not a working royal, and her two youngest grandchildren Lady Louise and James, and her Cambridge great-grandchildren George, Charlotte and Louis.   

The Palace spokesman added: ‘In addition the Cambridge and Wessex children are also expected to appear as is Sir Tim Laurence, who the Queen is happy to attend as a frequent attendee and support for the Princess Royal on official engagements.’ 

The symbolic move is likely to be interpreted as a snub to Harry and Meghan, who quit the monarchy for a new life in the US two years ago, and to Andrew, who was cast out of the institution over his civil sexual assault case.  

More than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional Parade to mark The Queen's official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June

More than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional Parade to mark The Queen’s official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June

Trooping the Colour will close with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by the Queen and the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony. Above: The Queen and the Royal family on the balcony in 2017

Trooping the Colour will close with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by the Queen and the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony. Above: The Queen and the Royal family on the balcony in 2017

Andrew stepped down from public duties in 2019 and just weeks ago paid millions out of court to settle a civil sexual assault case.

He was stripped of his honorary military titles and forced to no longer use his HRH style, but he played a key role in March when he escorted his mother to the Duke of Edinburgh’s thanksgiving service.

Harry and Meghan quit as senior working royals amid the Megxit saga, but there was speculation they might return to the UK to attend the Jubilee celebrations.

Andrew and the Sussexes could still make an appearance during other parts of the weekend.

A Palace source said: ‘Other family members will be invited to events. We’ve always made that clear and they are likely to be public events.’

FRIDAY 3 JUNE 

11am – The royal family begin to arrive at the service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral.

12.25pm – Members of the royal family afterwards attend a Guildhall reception hosted by the Lord Mayor.

A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. The service will include readings from the Bible, along with prayers and hymns that will be sung by both the choir and congregation. 

During the service, the church’s bell, named Great Paul, will be rung. It was made in 1882 but fell silent in the 1970s due to a broken mechanism. 

It was restored in 2021 and has been rung on eight occasions since then. However, this is the first royal occasion for which it has been rung. 

 After the service, a reception will be held at the Guildhall .

A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen's reign will be held at St Paul's Cathedral. The service will include readings from the Bible, along with prayers and hymns that will be sung by both the choir and congregation. Above: The Queen and the Royal Family are seen at St Paul's Cathedral during the service of Thanksgiving to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2022

A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. The service will include readings from the Bible, along with prayers and hymns that will be sung by both the choir and congregation. Above: The Queen and the Royal Family are seen at St Paul’s Cathedral during the service of Thanksgiving to mark the Golden Jubilee in 2022

he Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh pictured during the Thanksgiving service in St. Paul's Cathedral, held as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977

he Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh pictured during the Thanksgiving service in St. Paul’s Cathedral, held as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977

SATURDAY 4 JUNE 

5.30pm – The Epsom Derby race takes place. The Queen and her family are expected to head to the racecourse on Derby Day, where the monarch is due to be greeted with a guard of honour made of up to 40 of her past and present jockeys.

7.40pm – Members of the royal family arrive at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert.

8pm-10.30pm – The open-air concert in front of the palace, featuring stars including Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran and Diana Ross, is broadcast live on BBC One.

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.

The Queen is an avid racegoer and horse owner and has attended nearly all of the previous derbies during her 70 years on the throne. 

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs. Above: Her Majesty at the Derby in 2017

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs. Above: Her Majesty at the Derby in 2017

The Queen is an avid racegoer and horse owner and has attended nearly all of the previous derbies during her 70 years on the throne

The Queen is an avid racegoer and horse owner and has attended nearly all of the previous derbies during her 70 years on the throne

The Queen is seen with the Queen Mother at the Epsom Derby in 1976. Her Majesty is a huge racing fan and owns race horses

The Queen is seen with the Queen Mother at the Epsom Derby in 1976. Her Majesty is a huge racing fan and owns race horses

Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Box at Epsom in 1963. With her to see the Derby were Prince Philip, the Queen Mother and the Princess Royal

Queen Elizabeth II in the Royal Box at Epsom in 1963. With her to see the Derby were Prince Philip, the Queen Mother and the Princess Royal

The Queen and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, who died in 1974, are seen in the Royal Box at the Derby, Epsom Downs in 1953

The Queen and Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester, who died in 1974, are seen in the Royal Box at the Derby, Epsom Downs in 1953

Platinum Party at the Palace

The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from The Queen’s seven-decade reign. 

Members of the public will be invited to apply to attend this special event and details of the ballot for UK residents to secure audience tickets will be released in due course.

The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together some of the world's biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from The Queen's seven-decade reign. Above: The concert that was held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace during the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations

The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from The Queen’s seven-decade reign. Above: The concert that was held in the grounds of Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations

Artist impression of the stage outside Buckingham Palace for the Platinum Party at the Palace which will be shown live on BBC One as part of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration

Artist impression of the stage outside Buckingham Palace for the Platinum Party at the Palace which will be shown live on BBC One as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration

An artist's impression shows how the stage at the Platinum Party will look. A host of headline acts will perform at the event

An artist’s impression shows how the stage at the Platinum Party will look. A host of headline acts will perform at the event

Construction work is carried out at Buckingham Palace ahead of the Platinum Jubilee of Britain's Queen Elizabeth in London

Construction work is carried out at Buckingham Palace ahead of the Platinum Jubilee of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in London

Workers are seen on scaffolding as preparation for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee weekend continues

Workers are seen on scaffolding as preparation for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend continues

SUNDAY 5 JUNE

Street parties and Big Jubilee Lunches are staged across the country,

2.30pm-5pm – The Jubilee Pageant takes place in central London, with a 3km carnival procession featuring a cast of thousands including puppets and celebrities and tributes to the seven decades of the Queen’s reign. It will move down The Mall and past the palace.

The finale will feature Ed Sheeran performing, and the singing of the national anthem in front of the Queen’s official residence. 

The Big Jubilee Lunch 

Every year since the idea began in 2009 The Big Lunch has encouraged communities to celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little bit better, coming together in a spirit of fun and friendship. 

In 2022 The Big Lunch will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community.

People are invited to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. 

A Big Jubilee Lunch can be big or small – street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbeque. The Big Lunch provides tips and ideas for hosting an event.

The Platinum Jubilee Pageant

A pageant featuring over 5,000 people from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will take place against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets.

It will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume and celebrate the service of Her Majesty’s reign, as well as honouring the collective service of people and communities across the country.

The bells of Westmiminster Abbey will chime to mark the start of the pageant, as they did on the day of the Queen’s Coronation. 

As they do so, the Mounted Band of the Queen’s Household Cavalry will lead the Gold State Coach along a crowd-thronged route back to Buckingham Palace. 

Made of giltwood, a thin layer of gold leaf over wood, the Queen’s coach is seven metres long, weighs four tonnes and is 12 feet tall, and because of its weight and suspension is only ever used at a walking pace. 

Drawn by eight Windsor Grey horses, the grand carriage, led by the Mounted Band of the Household Cavalry, will begin the spectacular carnival Pageant finale on Sunday June 5 as the procession makes it way along the near two-mile route. 

More than 10,000 people will be involved, including the military and more than 6,000 volunteers, performers, key workers and 2,500 members of the public. 

Well-known celebrities from music, film, sport and the arts will also take part in the Pageant, whilst the Armed Forces will take a key role. 

Overall, around 1,800 servicemen and women will be there to represent the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force. 

Adrian Evans, Pageant Master said: ‘Everywhere you look, in the golden sculptures and painted panels, in the uniforms of the postillions, grooms, footmen, attendants and mounted guards, there is rich tradition and history.

‘It will be a unique spectacle that we are privileged to be opening the Pageant with it will set the tone for the very many spectacular sights to come.’

The coach, the third oldest surviving coach in the UK, only ever carries the sovereign, although it has previously taken part in pageants with no passengers.

For her Coronation, the Queen used the coach to travel from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, and to return.

She was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, in the uniform of an Admiral of the Fleet.

Royal Mews staff strapped a hot water bottle under the seat, as the day was unseasonably cold and wet.

The return route from the Abbey was extended, allowing as many people as possible to see the Queen, now wearing the Imperial State Crown.

The monarch left the Abbey carrying the orb and sceptre, and inside the coach special supports had been created for them.

The procession took 45 minutes to pass any one given point.

At the Jubilees of 1977 and 2002, the Queen and Philip travelled in the coach to a Service of National Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

The elaborate coach features, above each wheel, a massive triton figure in gilded walnut wood to represent the spreading of the news of good government, and the main body is gilded wood, carved to represent palm trees framing the doors and windows.

Paintings include Roman gods and goddesses representing human skill and endeavour feature. 

These include the Arts, Sciences, Virtue, Security, and the harvest goddess Ceres setting light to weapons in a sign of peace and prosperity overcoming war.

The front panel includes a figure of Britannia sitting on the banks of the river Thames, with the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral just visible in the city.

On the roof is a giltwood carving of the British Imperial crown being held by three putti representing England, Scotland and Ireland.

‘If Harry doesn’t now reach out to Meghan’s poorly father, I fear he may come to regret it’: As Thomas Markle – who still hasn’t met his son-in-law – lies gravely ill, it’s not too late for the prince to put the past behind him, says RICHARD KAY

Watching Prince Harry gallop across a sunlit polo field in southern California it was tempting to wonder if it brought back any nostalgic memories for the very different kind of life he used to lead as a member of the Royal Family. 

But of all the regrets he surely privately has over his exile, the greatest must be the animosity that exists between him and his father-in-law, who remains seriously ill in hospital after a suspected stroke. 

The rift between Thomas Markle, his daughter and the son-in-law he has never met, has been one of the most tragic and enduring features of the entire Harry and Meghan saga. It is also by some distance the saddest. For despite the pain and suspicion that undoubtedly still exists between Harry and his father Prince Charles and brother William, the Prince has not completely severed those royal bonds. And although pointedly not invited to share the Buckingham Palace balcony, he and Meghan will be participating in next week’s Platinum Jubilee. 

Contrast that with the sorrowful events surrounding Mr Markle’s admission to hospital after reportedly losing the power of speech and suffering a fall while out shopping in the Mexican town of Rosarito where he lives in solitary retirement. 

Families at war: The Duke and Duchess during their controversial television interview with Oprah Winfrey last year

Families at war: The Duke and Duchess during their controversial television interview with Oprah Winfrey last year

In footage posted online, the former TV lighting director is seen lying on a stretcher with an oxygen mask strapped to his face as a paramedic gently explains that he is being taken across the U.S. border to San Diego for treatment. 

No one is quite sure these days how Harry and Meghan will respond to the plight of the Duchess’s father and whether they will put aside the bitterness of the past four years and travel the four hours from their home in Santa Barbara to be at his bedside.  

This is a particular conundrum for a couple who in their public roles make a virtue of their compassion. 

How different things could have been, not just for Thomas Markle but for Prince Harry, too. Far from home, having the kindly figure of his father-in-law to turn to might have provided Harry with the stability he has so plainly been lacking since abandoning his own family. 

And who better than Mr Markle to guide him in the realities of life in a mixed race marriage. But none of this wisdom has been available to Harry. Instead their relationship has been one of sour mistrust. 

Suits you: Thomas pictured being measured for his wedding outfit

Suits you: Thomas pictured being measured for his wedding outfit

It has hardly helped that Mr Markle has offered his own uncompromising views of his daughter and her husband. Accusing Harry of being ‘snotty’ and an ‘idiot’ who is ‘whipped’ by Meghan was never likely to endear him to his son-in-law. Even so, this cannot excuse Harry’s own behaviour. The roots of this unhappiness lie in the weeks leading up to Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding in 2018. Mr Markle was revealed to have collaborated with a paparazzi photographer in staging pictures of him preparing for the marriage ceremony, from reading up on British history to being measured up for a wedding suit. 

It was naïve, foolish even but hardly wilful. The irony was that this act of invading his own privacy came at the very time Palace officials were sending strict warnings to the media not to harass him. 

Indeed, it was hard not to escape the conclusion that royal advisers had failed to realise that this lonely but thoroughly decent man would struggle to deal with the enormity of his daughter marrying into Britain’s Royal Family. 

Daddy’s girl: Meghan was doted on as a teenager by her father

Daddy’s girl: Meghan was doted on as a teenager by her father

It seemed then — and it seems now — remarkable that proper efforts were not put in place to prepare Mr Markle for the news, providing an aide to brief him or better still flying him to London and accommodating him in a royal home where he could have acclimatised ahead of the wedding. 

But perhaps the most baffling failure of all was Harry’s. Even now, four years later, it is hard to understand why Harry did not meet his girlfriend’s father in person, as any prospective son-in-law would do. 

There must have been countless opportunities for Harry (and Meghan) to have paid a private visit to her father — long before he started giving interviews. 

By the eve of the wedding, when Thomas revealed he was pulling out of giving his daughter away because of heart problems, the relationship between the two men was turning toxic. 

Mr Markle said he had hung up on Harry during a heated telephone call. Although he accepted the Prince had every right to reprimand him over the staged photographs, he described the timing of the call as ‘rude’. 

While admitting he had lied about the incident, he added: ‘There is a time and place to say what he said but not when I’m lying in hospital after a heart attack.’ He claimed he had ended the call after telling the Prince: ‘Maybe it would be better for you guys if I was dead… then you could pretend to be sad.’ Resentment had been bubbling for some time. 

He claimed that when the couple’s engagement was disclosed, two representatives from the British consulate in Los Angeles had visited the home of his ex-wife Doria Ragland — Meghan’s mother — to present her with a copy of the official scroll bearing the Queen’s announcement. 

‘No one came to my door in Mexico,’ he complained. ‘I would have liked the engagement announcement, too.’ 

Petulant maybe but perfectly understandable. 

Yet by the time of the Duke and Duchess’s interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, Meghan described the fake pictures episode as feeling like a ‘betrayal’. 

She said she had asked her father directly if he had talked to tabloid newspapers (over the pictures) and he had replied: ‘No, absolutely not.’ She said she told him that ‘if you tell me the truth we can help’. According to Meghan her father ‘wasn’t able to do that’ and she described his refusal to answer as ‘so hard for me to reconcile’. 

By the time of the interview, of course, the couple had already long slammed the door shut in Mr Markle’s face. 

Even so rather than seeking a reconciliation, the relationship unravelled further. 

In December 2018, Thomas claimed he had been ‘ghosted’ by his daughter and that she had not responded to the countless attempts he had made to contact her. The situation deteriorated even more when details of a handwritten letter she had sent him were revealed by The Mail on Sunday. 

Last year the Duchess sued the newspaper for reproducing parts of the ‘personal and private’ letter and it paid damages for infringing her copyright. 

Even then a rapprochement might still have been possible. Thomas longs to see his two grandchildren, Archie and Lilibet. 

It is not just three lives damaged by this escalating tragedy, now there are five divided by this bitter disagreement. 

Harry has spoken of how sad it was that his mother Princess Diana never knew Meghan. How much sadder it will be if he never gets to know Meghan’s father. 

Just imagine how much he could learn about fatherhood from the man who displayed a unique approach to teaching his daughter about her mixed-race heritage. Meghan proudly recalled how one Christmas Day she had opened a present containing a set of Barbie dolls, specially customised by Thomas to reflect her family — one black doll and one white. 

After her parents’ divorce in 1987 the young Meghan lived with her mother but continued to spend time with her father who often brought her in to the TV studios where he was working. 

When he won money in the California State Lottery in 1990 Thomas invested some but spent most of it on his children — Thomas junior and Samantha by an earlier marriage — and paid for Meghan to attend a Catholic high school. 

These were formative years for Meghan when she mainly lived with her father. Of course, Doria has been able to tell the Prince something of Meghan’s childhood but a complete picture needs to involve her father, too. 

Is it really too late for Harry to put the past behind him and reach out to poorly Mr Markle? I don’t think so — but if he does not I fear he may come to regret it.

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