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Harry and Meghan make last official appearance as senior royals

The couple do not officially step down from their roles as working members of the royal family until March 31.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made their last official appearance as senior royals – celebrating the Commonwealth with members of the monarchy.

Harry and Meghan arrived at Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Service looking relaxed after a hectic past 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 – broadcast around the globe on the BBC World Service – was the symbolic end of their life supporting the Queen.

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.

Edward partly rose to greet the Cambridges, but Sophie and the Sussexes remained seated.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at the service (Yui Mok/PA)

Meghan later chatted animatedly to Edward as they waited for the Queen to arrive, with Harry joining in the conversation and putting his arm on the back of Meghan’s chair as he did so.

As the members of the royal family arrived they were introduced to a line of dignitaries, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but no-one shook hands as they greeted each other.

It is understood the Queen and other royals were following the protocol the Abbey has been operating under during the past few days following the coronavirus outbreak.

Commonwealth Day 2020
The Queen alongside the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle (Ben Stansall/PA)

The Prince of Wales opted for a namaste as he was introduced to guests including Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Scotland in the line-up.

Meghan was dressed in a glamorous green Emilia Wickstead dress with a dramatic asymmetrical cape, and hat by William Chambers with flamboyant netting, while Kate wore a red Catherine Walker outfit and a hat by Sally-Ann Provan.

In a change from last year’s event the Sussexes were shown to their seats and did not wait at the Abbey’s great west door to meet Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Queen before processing at the start of the ceremony.

The move is likely to be interpreted by commentators as their impending exit from The Firm – dubbed Megxit – although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, unlike last year, also took their place in the 2,000-strong congregation and were not the procession through the Abbey.

Commonwealth Day 2020
The royals at the Commonwealth Service (Phil Harris/Daily Mirror/PA)

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 Mr Johnson and Baroness Scotland.

The ceremony – the Sussexes’ final public outing in their UK farewell tour – is a poignant milestone as they prepare to embark on their future away from the royal family.

From March 31, the monarch’s grandson and American former actress Meghan will no longer use their HRH styles as they pursue a new life of personal and financial freedom, mostly in North America.

Harry and Meghan
Harry and Meghan were celebrating the Commonwealth with members of the monarchy (Yui Mok/PA)

On that date Meghan will bow out of royal life just one year, 10 months and 12 days – or 682 days – after marrying into the family.

She spent almost five years longer appearing on screen in the US drama Suits.

PA