Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Queen Elizabeth
They will be the most senior members of the Royal Family heading out of London during the central celebratory weekend next month.
William and Kate are to go to Wales, where they lived for a few years when they were first married more than a decade ago, while Princess Anne heads to Scotland and Prince Edward and Sophie, The Countess of Wessex, go to Northern Ireland.
In a simple statement, the palace announced, “Over the course of the Central Weekend, Members of the Royal Family will visit the Nations of the United Kingdom to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee. Members of the Royal Family will attend engagements in each nation, including public events marking the occasion.”
Royal sources point out that in previous years like the Golden and Diamond Jubilees, the Queen and her late husband Prince Philip visited many places across Britain, touring on the royal train during the run up to the respective June weekends.
GEOFF PUGH/AFP via Getty Images Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Kate Middleton
That hasn’t been possible this year as the Queen is now 96 and mainly confined to less arduous duties at Windsor Castle, so the family and their advisers thought it would be poignant to have some of them out and about away from London and around the wider country.
No dates or location details have been confirmed for the away days, which will take place during the central weekend in early June.
The main celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee will begin on Thursday, June 2, with the traditional parade Trooping the Colour. It was announced on Friday that, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have confirmed that they will travel to the U.K. next month, they will not be appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony at the end of the parade.
Joe Giddens/WPA Pool/Getty Queen Elizabeth
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been excluded from the lineup because they’re not working members of the royal family, a palace spokesman said.
Harry’s uncle Prince Andrew, who is no longer a working royal following his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, will also not be included on the balcony for Trooping the Colour, which marks the Queen’s official birthday each year.
“After careful consideration, the Queen has decided that this year’s traditional Trooping the Colour balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd of June will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
The balcony appearance will therefore comprise the Queen, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, William and Kate and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Also there will be Princess Anne and her husband, Prince Edward, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and their two children and the Queen’s cousins, the Duke of Kent, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Princess Alexandra will also be in attendance.
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Prince William and Queen Elizabeth
Announcing they’d be arriving in the U.K. with their two children Archie Harrison and daughter Lilibet Diana, a spokesperson for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said, “Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are excited and honored to attend The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this June with their children.”
To kick off the week of commemorations, a unique documentary will be aired featuring never-before-seen home movies of the monarch — including a charming moment when she got engaged to Prince Philip. The then-Princess Elizabeth is seen beaming at her engagement ring during a vacation to Balmoral Castle in Scotland in 1946 — well before her impending wedding was announced.
The film taps into unique home movies, which were mostly shot by members of the royal family, dating back to the 1920s. They have been kept private for decades by the British Film Institute on behalf of the Royal Collection Trust.
The film will air on the BBC and its streaming iPlayer service on May 29 and the broadcaster says the documentary will show the Queen’s journey from being pushed in a pram as a baby by her mother to her Coronation at the age of 27 in 1953. Elizabeth acceded to the throne in February 1952 following the death of her father George VI.