Queen's Platinum Jubilee: Line-up indicates of slimmed-down monarchy

The Queen’s ‘futurepoof’ slimmed-down monarchy: Palace shares photo of royals assembled on balcony as experts say it resembles monarch’s vision for the future…without a spot for Harry and Meghan or Prince Andrew

  • Monarch decided she wanted to be accompanied only by working royals today
  • The 96-year-old Queen is focusing on those at the top of the line of succession
  • The royals on balcony today included Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Anne
  • But no space for Harry, Meghan or Andrew because they aren’t working royals

The smaller line-up on the Buckingham Palace balcony today was a clear indication of the Royal Family shifting towards a slimmed-down monarchy, an expert has said.

The Queen, 96, decided she wanted to be accompanied only by working royals to watch the flypast today as she focuses on those at the top of the line of succession.

There was room today for Prince Charles and Camilla; Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex; and Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence.

Others on the balcony included Prince William and Kate and their children Charlotte, Louis and George, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Princess Alexandra.

But there was no sign of Prince Harry and Meghan after they quit as working royals in 2020, or Prince Andrew, who stepped down over his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

It was in stark contrast to the appearance of the Palace balcony for a flypast three years ago in June 2019 when it was packed with wider members of the Royal Family. 

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline today: ‘The line up on the iconic balcony of Buckingham Palace after Trooping the Colour today of royals who conduct official duties put the focus where it should be, on the Queen, on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee.

‘It was the second powerful statement she has used this unique milestone to send out. 

‘The first was to give her blessing to the Camilla becoming Queen Consort, Princess Consort was a historical nonsense. If left, it might have caused considerable difficulty when Charles ascended the throne as it has never been popular. 

‘The centre of the celebrations for the Queen will undoubtedly be the Service at St Paul’s as she is deeply religious. However, for the press and public, it is this annual display of unity by the royal family on the balcony that makes the most impact. 

‘The absence of Andrew was inevitable and this makes it clear he has no future part in royal life. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent plea that she should be forgiven was hastily withdrawn. His popularity is non-existent.’

The Royal Family’s official Instagram account posted a picture of an apparent slimmed down monarchy following today’s Trooping the Colour

TODAY — (Left to right) The Duke of Gloucester, Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, Duke of Kent, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence , the Princess Royal, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales , Queen Elizabeth II , the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince George, the Duke of Cambridge, the Countess of Wessex, James Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Windsor, and the Earl of Wessex (hidden) at Buckingham Palace today

2019 — (From left) Albert Windsor, Prince William holding Prince Louis, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Kate, Camilla, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Prince Charles, Princess Beatrice, Princess Anne, the Queen, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, Meghan, Isla Phillips, James Viscount Severn, Savannah Phillips, Peter Phillips, Autumn Phillips, Lyla Gilman, Eloise Taylor and Lady Helen Taylor stand with other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the flypast on June 8, 2019

Mr Fitzwilliams added: ‘Harry and Meghan were not widely seen during today’s ceremony. The Queen, whilst believing they are much loved members of the royal family, is fully aware of how unpredictable and whimsical they can be. 

‘They rely totally on their royal connections for their contracts with Netflix and Spotify and their profile. 

‘The continuation of the rift is in neither their interest or in the royal family’s, but their interview on Oprah was very destructive and has affected the monarchy’s popularity, especially with the young. It was also given whilst Prince Philip was ill. 

‘Their future status is as royal outsiders and today’s balcony line up made this clear.’

Heirs to the throne, future queens and minor royals who have dedicated decades of their lives to supporting the monarch joined her for the balcony appearance today.

The Queen limited those taking to the famous Palace frontage for the flypast to working members of her family after ‘careful consideration’, royal officials had said.

With no Harry, Meghan or Andrew, some 18 other royals including the Queen stepped out at about 1pm to watch the high-profile display by 70 aircraft.

The key players on the royal stage included future king Prince Charles and Camilla, who was backed by the Queen in her Jubilee year to one day take the title of Queen.

There also was second in line Prince William, and Kate, also a future Queen, and their children Prince George – a future monarch – Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. 

Queen Elizabeth II stands with Prince Charles on the Buckingham Palace balcony today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Louis, Charlotte and George at the Palace today

The Queen’s other children – the Princess Royal, known for her hard-working, no-nonsense approach to royal duties, and the Earl of Wessex – took pride of place.

They were with spouses Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and the Countess of Wessex, along with the Wessexes’ children – Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.

The Queen also invited her cousins Princess Alexandra, the Duke of Kent and the Duke of Gloucester, with his wife the Duchess of Gloucester, to attend.

The dukes and their sister Alexandra are close to the monarch and have spent their lives working quietly and dependably behind the scenes on royal engagements.

It was notable the Queen asked the Duke of Kent – known as Steady Eddie for his reliability and good grace – to be at her side to take the salute from Trooping soldiers during her earlier balcony appearance the same day.

Camilla, Prince Charles, the Queen, Prince Louis, Kate, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince William appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London this afternoon

(From left) The Duke of Gloucester, Duchess of Gloucester, Princess Alexandra, Duke of Kent, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and the Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace this afternoon

This Jubilee line-up was a marked change from the Diamond Jubilee, with a return to the wider supporting cast of royals – more similar to the Golden Jubilee celebrations.

In 2012, a slimmed-down version of The Firm stepped out to greet the mass crowds celebrating the Queen’s 60-year reign.

Just six royals waved to the well-wishers – the Queen and only those at the very top of the succession list and their wives; Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and Harry.

The decision was said to be part of Charles’ vision of streamlining and modernising the institution.

Ten years earlier during the 2002 Golden Jubilee, 20 members of the royal family had packed the balcony of the Queen’s London home to watch a traditional flypast.

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