Is This Why The Queen Often Sits Near An Empty Seat At Royal Events?

Any dedicated royal spectator out there may have noticed in the past that her majesty the queen is often surrounded by empty seats at some of the biggest royal events. As Cosmopolitan reported, this was the case at the wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, who tied the knot in 2018 at St. George's Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. 

The nuptials were attended by 850 wedding guests, including several celebrity attendees and the most senior members of the British royal family. However, during the ceremony, the queen was again spotted sitting on the chapel's second row behind an empty line of seats, leaving many viewers puzzled as to why this was the case. 

According to The Sun, the empty row of seats was no accident, and official royal protocol states that all seats positioned in front of the queen must remain empty to ensure her view of proceedings in the private chapel are not spoiled.

The queen has other reasons for her preferred seating arrangement

There are other important factors behind Queen Elizabeth II's seating preference in St. George's Chapel. Per The Sun, the front row is also thought to be particularly uncomfortable, meaning her majesty prefers to sit through ceremonies held at the chapel on the second row of much more comfortable seats. 

Speaking to the publication shortly after Princess Eugenie's wedding, a royal commentator explained, "The seat in front of the queen is always left empty, I am told by BP [Buckingham Palace]. She needs to be seen — and the seat she was sitting in today is her favorite seat in that chapel, apparently!"

In April 2021, the queen was also seen by millions sitting among empty seats during the funeral of her late husband, Prince Philip. However, per the Independent, the 15th-century chapel was unusually empty due to coronavirus restrictions, which at the time stated that only 30 individuals were permitted to attend the funeral service.