Once the Prince of Wales and Camilla had arrived for the Service of Thanksgiving, the two met with William and Kate before they walked together to their seats.
On previous occasions, Prince Charles has been seen greeting his daughter-in-law with a kiss on both cheeks, but today cameras captured the sweet moment when the heir to the throne gently blew Kate a kiss, as they met.
However, the Prince of Wales was not seen greeting or interacting with his other daughter-in-law Meghan Markle, after royal aides carefully managed the seating plan to keep Charles, Camilla and the Cambridges separate from the Sussexes.
Prince Charles showed a moment of warm affection towards Kate Middleton today at St Paul’s Cathedral when he blew his daughter-in-law a kiss as they met
It has been said Kate has always had a good relationship with Prince Charles, long before he became her father-in-law, seen here just before the four walk together to their seats for the Service of Thanksgiving
The four exchange some words as they meet inside St Paul’s Cathedral this morning before the Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen
Kate is known to have a warm relationship with her father-in-law and has reportedly helped smooth the sometimes fractious relationship between the heir to the throne and his son, William.
The Duchess was warmly welcomed into the family by Charles after her engagement to William, and she’s been heard affectionately calling him Grandpa in public on previous occasions.
For today’s service, Kate opted for a sunny yellow dress by Emilia Wickstead, teamed with a matching hat with floral adornments.
However, there was no interaction captured on camera between Prince Charles and his younger son Prince Harry at today’s service.
Charles and Camilla stand and sing mid service in St Paul’s Cathedral, London, today
The couple were kept apart from Prince William, Kate, Prince Charles and Camilla after royal aides ensured they sat on the other side of the aisle – and they later left separately.
The Sussexes did not attend a reception straight after at the nearby Guildhall which featured a series of other Royal Family members and politicians including Prime Minster Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Buckingham Palace officials took great care to try to avoid a repeat of the frosty scenes when the Sussexes and Cambridges sat near each other and left together at their last joint event in March 2020 at Westminster Abbey.
And aides would have been delighted that today’s service in front of 2,000 guests passed without any such incident or negative ‘optics’ given the attempts to ensure today was about the Queen and her 70-year reign.
Kate and William chatted to Prince Charles and Camilla inside the cathedral, but there was no sign of the same rapport with Harry and Meghan who sat in between Lady Sarah Chatto and Princess Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank, and were under strict instructions to keep a low profile during the event.
Harry and William have had a long-standing feud, while Harry has accused his father Charles of cutting him off financially and Meghan claimed an unnamed royal made a comment about Archie’s skin tone before he was born – with the Sussexes having a war of words with the Palace following last year’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview.
It was the first time Harry and Meghan, who now live in California, had been on full public view alongside the Windsors since they quit the monarchy for a new life in the US two years ago. Crowds cheered the pair as they arrived, with the couple smiling and waving, but both boos and cheers could be heard as they departed.
Kate and William, walk alongside Charles and Camilla to their seats in St Paul’s Cathedral this morning before the service begins
The Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles sit down at the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral today
Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall leave St Paul’s Cathedral after the Service of Thanksgiving today, on the second day of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations
The Princess Royal, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Cambridge take their seats in St Paul’s Cathedral this morning
During today’s service, there were smiles from the Earl and Countess of Wessex as the Archbishop of York referred to the Queen’s love of horse racing, while the Princess Royal nodded her head in approval.
The Archbishop of York said the Queen was ‘still in the saddle’, as he thanked her for ‘staying the course’.
In his sermon at St Paul’s, The Most Rev Stephen Cottrell compared the monarch’s well-known love of horse racing to her long reign, suggesting it ‘reflects the distance of Aintree more than the sprints of Epsom’.
Mr Cottrell told the congregation, which included senior members of the Royal Family, he was ‘sorry’ the Queen could not attend, but glad there is ‘still more to come’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive for the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London this morning
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrive for the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London this morning
(Left to right) The Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales today
He said: ‘It is well known that Her Majesty likes horse racing.
‘I don’t have any great tips for the Derby tomorrow, but since the scriptures describe life as a race set before us, let me observe that her long reign reflects the distance of Aintree more than the sprints of Epsom.
‘Certainly, less dressage than most people imagine. But with endurance, through times of change and challenge, joy and sorrow, she continues to offer herself in the service of our country and the Commonwealth.
‘Your Majesty, we’re sorry you’re not with us this morning in person, but you are still in the saddle. And we are all glad that there is still more to come.’
In his address, the Archbishop said the best leaders are those who ‘know how to be led’ and ‘lead for others, not themselves’.
‘People whose heart’s desire is to serve the common good and build up the common life; who don’t try to do it all themselves, or act in their own strength alone; people who take a longer view; and who seek out places of replenishing, even places where they might learn the mind of Christ,’ he said.
Members of the Royal Family arrive to attend the Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign at St Paul’s Cathedral today
The National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations
‘I say this today, knowing that in Her Majesty the Queen we see an example of this kind of service; a staunch constancy and a steadfast consistency; a faithfulness to God, an obedience to a vocation that is the bedrock of her life.’
The Queen missed out on the service this morning, due to episodic mobility issues that she’s been experiencing.
Buckingham Palace revealed Her Majesty ‘greatly enjoyed’ her birthday parade and flypast but ‘did experience some discomfort’.
Buckingham Palace said: ‘Taking into account the journey and activity required to participate in tomorrow’s National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, Her Majesty, with great reluctance, has concluded that she will not attend.’
It is understood the decision ahead of the service, which was at 11.30am today, was considered regrettable but sensible due to the length of the journey and time involved and the physical demands the service would require.
Senior members of the monarchy attending this morning also include the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who will be joined by the extended royal family.
Tributes were paid to the Queen’s ’70 years of faithful and dedicated service’ in front of 2,000 people including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Cabinet ministers, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and former prime ministers.
Public service was the theme at the heart of the religious event, with 400 people who are recipients of honours, including NHS and key workers who were recognised for their work during the pandemic.
Royal enthusiasts gather in the early morning at St Paul’s Cathedral ahead of the National Service of Thanksgiving, part of celebrations for the Queen’s platinum Jubilee
Members of the public gather outside St Paul’s Cathedral this morning for the arrival of the royal family for the Platinum Jubilee service of thanksgiving