The Queen made two appearances on the Buckingham Palace balcony Thursday to the delight of thousands of flag-waving supporters below.
The public was less enthusiastic toward British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was both cheered and booed as he arrived with his wife, Carrie.
The final guests to arrive at St Paul’s were Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, followed by Prince Charles — the heir to the throne — and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
More than 400 people from all four nations of the United Kingdom were invited to the event recognizing the Queen’s lifetime of service. The congregation includes key workers, teachers and public servants as well as representatives from the Armed Forces, charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups, according to Buckingham Palace. London Mayor Sadiq Khan is among those in the audience.
The service is a chance for the royals to come together in recognition of the much-loved matriarch.
“Yesterday it was one big party, one big spectacular, fabulous, party, with a flypast and the amazing tribute to the armed service. But today is much more solemn,” said CNN royal historian Kate Williams.
The event was the first time the public was able to get a good glimpse of Harry and Meghan. They were seated in the second row, alongside Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, the daughters of Prince Andrew, and their husbands.
Harry and Meghan did not join other royal family members for the traditional balcony appearance following the parade as the Queen decided last month that only working royals would be invited to that moment.
The theme of Friday morning’s event, formally called “The National Service of Thanksgiving to Celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty The Queen,” was public service. The Dean of St Paul’s, David Ison, led the service, which included Bible readings, prayers and congregational hymns to honor the Queen’s 70 years on the British throne.
St Paul’s marked the occasion by ringing its bell — the biggest in the United Kingdom, weighing more than 16 tons. Friday’s event was the first royal occasion at which it rung out since its restoration in 2021.
After the service, the Lord Mayor of London, Vincent Keaveny, will host a reception for the royal family and their guests at Guildhall, where the local government headquarters is located. Keaveny leads London’s financial district, known as the Square Mile.