Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at Westminster Abbey for final royal engagement

9 March 2020, 15:49

By Maddie Goodfellow

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Service in their last official event as senior royals.

Harry and Meghan made their last official appearance as senior royals, celebrating the Commonwealth alongside members of the monarchy.

The couple have had a hectic few days which have seen them attend a string of public events.

Their goodbye tour has included the Endeavour Fund Awards, a military musical festival at the Royal Albert Hall and Meghan's secret visit to a school in Dagenham, east London, to celebrate International Women's Day.

The couple do not officially step down from their roles as working members of the royal family until March 31, but the service is the symbolic end of their life as senior royals.

The couple were seen smiling as they arrived
The couple were seen smiling as they arrived. Picture: Getty
Harry and Meghan arrive for the service
Harry and Meghan arrive for the service. Picture: Getty

It comes after the news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would not be part of the Queen's procession through Westminster Abbey at the start of the Commonwealth Service this year.

On their final official royal engagement, Harry and Meghan were conducted to their seats, rather than waiting for the Queen's arrival and walking through the church with the monarch as they did last year.

The couple did not take part in the procession
The couple did not take part in the procession. Picture: Getty

The procession included the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, clergy, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Commonwealth Secretary General, among others, according to the Order of Service.

Last year, Harry and Meghan waited alongside William, Kate, Charles and Camilla for the Queen to arrive, before taking part in "The Procession of The Queen".

The Sussexes arrived after the Earl and Countess of Wessex, who were also be escorted to their seats.

Last-minute changes were also made to the royal arrangements at the Commonwealth Day service, with the Cambridges also not joining the Queen in the procession.

A source said the amendments were made on Sunday - the day before the event, despite the Order of Service already having been signed off and printed.

Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace have not commented as to why the switch has been made.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also not in the ceremony
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were also not in the ceremony. Picture: Getty
Kate and William arrived after the Sussexes
Kate and William arrived after the Sussexes. Picture: Getty

When Meghan and Harry first arrived they were greeted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, and met a group of dignitaries including Boris Johnson and the Commonwealth's secretary-general Baroness Scotland.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived soon after Meghan and Harry and like the Sussexes were introduced to a group of dignitaries before being shown to their seats.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall arrived at the Abbey ahead of the Queen, who is always the final member of the congregation to arrive.

Meghan was seen to mouth "hi" and give a small wave to William and Kate, followed by a "hello", as the Cambridges took their seat in the High Altar in the row in front of the Sussexes.

Harry also said "hello" and smiled at his brother.

Meghan was in a green Emilia Wickstead dress with asymmetrical cape and hat by William Chambers.

Kate was in red, wearing a coat by Catherine Walker and a hat by Sally-Ann Provan.

The Queen wore a Stewart Parvin delicate air force blue cashmere double breasted A-line coat, with a silk faille printed shift dress in shades of "air force blue, black and burnt orange".

Camilla wore a navy silk and lace dress and coat by Bruce Oldfield and a navy feathered hat by Philip Treacy, while Sophie was in a white and navy Suzannah dress and navy Jane Taylor hat.