Prince William and Kate, and Prince Harry and Meghan have arrived at the annual Commonwealth Day ceremony in Westminster Abbey.
It is expected to be the final official royal engagement for Harry and Meghan before they step down as senior royals.
The Queen, in her role as Head of the Commonwealth, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are also attending the service. Guests of honour among the 2,000-strong congregation include Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Commonwealth secretary-general Baroness Scotland, high commissioners, ambassadors, faith leaders and more than 800 schoolchildren and young people.
This year, the couples were not part of the royal procession at Westminster Abbey at the start of the Commonwealth Day service. Unlike last year, they were conducted to their seats, rather than waiting for the monarch’s arrival and walking through the church with the other royals.
Prince William and Kate dropped out of the Queen’s procession, shortly after it was revealed that Prince Harry and Meghan will skip the formal entrance. Their inclusion in the procession appears in the official Order of Service. Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace have not yet commented as to why the change has been made.
The procession included the Queen, Charles and Camilla, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Commonwealth Secretary General, according to the Order of Service.
The central theme of this year’s service is “Delivering a Common Future”; highlighting how the member states are “innovating, connecting and transforming” to achieve its goals. It will include a reflection delivered by boxer Anthony Joshua and performances by Alexandra Burke and Craig David.
While this is expected to be Harry and Meghan’s final event as royals, tonight, Kate is hosting a reception at Buckingham Palace to mark the 25th anniversary of Place2Be, of which she’s a patron.