Inside Meghan And Harry's Abrupt Exit From The UK

All of Great Britain was in celebration mode for Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee, with members of the royal family in attendance to commemorate the queen's historic 70 years on the throne. Even Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, made the trip from California for the festivities, along with their children, son Archie and daughter Lilibet.

Before their arrival, it  already was determined Harry and Meghan would be excluded from standing on the royal balcony with Elizabeth during the Trooping the Colour. A palace spokesman told the Mirror that the queen decided to only include "Her Majesty and those members of the royal family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen." Instead, Harry and Meghan watched behind the scenes with other family members.

The couple did make their first public appearance together in the U.K. since they stepped down from their royal duties at St. Paul's Cathedral at the National Service of Thanksgiving. The crowd's reaction was surprising to many, with those waiting outside greeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex with cheers. Harry and Meghan arrived before senior members of the royal family — most notably Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, and Prince William and Kate Middleton — and sat next to Harry's cousins, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and their husbands, per Yahoo U.K.

Yet despite the warm welcome, Harry and Meghan decided to head home before the Platinum Jubilee festivities were over.

Harry and Meghan left an hour before the Platinum Jubilee ended

While they were greeted with cheers during their appearance at the Platinum Jubilee, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to leave Great Britain an hour before the end of Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee. According to Daily Mail, the couple — along with their two children — flew home to California on a private jet, instead of staying for the queen's final appearance on the royal balcony. 

"There was no fanfare, they just went," a source revealed. "They didn't stick around for the Platinum Jubilee pageant which is a celebration of Britain and all of its quirks and eccentricities over the Queen's 70 year reign."

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stayed under the radar for most of the Jubilee festivities, yet their visit was an important one. Queen Elizabeth finally got to meet the couple's daughter, Lilibet, who turned 1 during her family's visit to the U.K. "I think people are expecting some sort of big birthday extravagant event, that we're going to see photographs from. From what I'm told, we shouldn't expect anything," said royal expert Omid Scobie, per Daily Mail. "Those moments with Lilibet are very much private between them and the Queen and of course we know how much she's been looking forward to it."

They celebrated daughter Lilibet's first birthday in the UK

Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee wasn't the only special occasion over the weekend. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's daughter, Lilibet, turned one while their family was in the U.K., and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly had a small gathering to celebrate. 

According to The Sun, the birthday party was held at Frogmore Cottage, which is where Harry and Meghan lived when they were still working members of the royal family. The garden party reportedly included snacks, balloons, and of course, cake! "It was a lovely do and had everything you'd expect from a child's birthday party," a source revealed. "But there was no formal entertainment. The idea was for it to be very relaxed and casual, with people free to pop in and out as they wished."

Guests expected to attend included Zara and Mike Tindall's children Mia, Lena, and Lucas, as well as Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly's daughters Savannah and Isla. Notably absent was Lilibet's first cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. The two oldest children of Prince William and Kate Middleton, however, did have a valid excuse for missing the festivities: They both accompanied their parents on a trip to Wales in honor of the jubilee, per Page Six.

Harry and Meghan didn't seem to have any interaction with William and Kate

While the Platinum Jubilee might have been the perfect opportunity for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to mend fences with Prince William and Kate Middleton, it doesn't appear that the couples had much interaction during the festivities. The brothers have had a strained relationship since Harry and Meghan decided to step down from their royal duties in 2020, and their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey certainly appeared to seal a tense fate.

During the jubilee, Harry and Meghan sat on the opposite side of the aisle during a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral in London, per Insider, and didn't seem to speak to or acknowledge William and Kate before or after the event. Harry and Meghan also decided not to attend a luncheon at The Guildhall after the service, or a small family gathering after the Trooping the Colour, per People.

However, it could be that the four decided not to interact in public as to not take the spotlight away from Queen Elizabeth, especially after Prince Charles reportedly expressed concerns about Harry and Meghan's presence taking the focus away from his mother. "This is the queen's show and should be about her and her 70 years of service rather than Meghan's fashion, the kids and Harry," a source told The Sun. "They don't want it to become the Harry and Meghan show. Charles and all the family are agreed on that."