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No Harry, Meghan or Andrew on balcony at start of jubilee events

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Duke of York will not be joining other royals on the Buckingham Palace balcony after the trooping the colour that kicks off the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations.

The Queen has decided only working royals will gather on the balcony for the traditional flypast at the conclusion of the ceremony on Thursday 2 June.

A Buckingham Palace source said: “After careful consideration, the Queen has decided this year’s traditional trooping the colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2 June 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”.

Wider family members, including Harry and Meghan, if they are in the UK, and Andrew, will be invited to jubilee events, including a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral. Aides have also not confirmed or denied that the jubilee weekend could see a second balcony appearance, after the jubilee pageant on Sunday 5 June, which could see wider family members invited.

The source said family members will be invited to the jubilee events. “We have always made that clear.”

Harry and Meghan were reportedly invited by the Queen to take part in a jubilee balcony appearance following the couple’s brief low-key visit to his grandmother en route to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands last month.

During the diamond jubilee just six members of the royal family – the Queen, Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry appeared on the balcony, interpreted as a reflection of Charles’s desire for a slimmed down monarchy. During the golden jubilee, the royal family made a balcony appearance following the jubilee pageant.

The trooping balcony appearance is the only balcony appearance confirmed in advance of this jubilee. The Queen’s decision means on the balcony after trooping the colour, she will be joined by the Prince of Wales and 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 and Princess Alexandra. In addition the Cambridge and Wessex children are also expected to appear, as is Sir Tim Laurence, husband of Princess Anne.

The Queen, who has cancelled several recent high-profile engagements due to mobility issues, is said to be planning to take part in the celebrations, but it is not known which events she will attend.

The source said: “Her Majesty is looking forward to the weekend and will be taking part in the celebrations but her presence will not be confirmed until much nearer to the time or even on the day itself”.

Meanwhile, Buckingham Palace has revealed that the Gold State Coach, seen at coronations, jubilees and other high profile events since it was built in 1762, will be a highlight of the platinum jubilee pageant.

It will be drawn by eight Windsor Grey horses along the pageant route on Sunday 5 June. And, though the Queen herself will not be seated in it, showing in the remodelled coach windows will be archive footage of the young Queen recorded on Coronation Day.

The third-oldest surviving coach in the UK, made of giltwood and weighing four tonnes, it will be its first appearance on London’s streets for 20 years.

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