Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Were Seated Behind William and Kate at Their Final Royal Appearance

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have finished their final royal engagement. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are slated to leave the royal family after March 31, and their recent appearance at the Commonwealth Day service was their last engagement before their exit becomes final. With Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, having one foot out the door, here’s a look at why they were seated separately from their royal counterparts, Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Kate Middleton Prince William Meghan Markle Prince Harry
Kate Middleton, Prince William, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry | Phil Harris/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle complete their final royal engagement

Over the past week or so, Harry and Meghan have been wrapping up the final round of their UK trip before their exit becomes official. For their last outing, the couple joined other high ranking members of the royal family for the annual Commonwealth Day service.

Unlike last year, Prince Harry and Meghan were not a part of Queen Elizabeth’s royal procession at the event. Instead, they were seated with the other guests, which gave them an opportunity to share a brief moment with William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, who opted out of the march at the last minute.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared at ease as they made their way through Westminster Abbey. Meghan donned an emerald dress for the occasion while Prince Harry looked sharp in a blue suit.

Harry and Meghan’s exit from the royal family is due to become official on March 31. After that, the pair will no longer use their royal titles and will be spending most of their time in North America.

Inside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s arrival

Because both couples were not a part of the royal procession, they arrived at Westminster Abbey within minutes of each other.

Prince Harry and Meghan were shown to their seats first, followed closed by William and Kate. But before they could get to their seats, the Sussexes and the Cambridges greeted various guests in the congregation.

Although they were only steps away from each other, at no point did they make eye contact. Instead, they kept to themselves as they mingled with people in the audience.

Why were Harry and Meghan seated behind William and Kate?

Prior to the start of the service, Harry and Meghan reached their seats just ahead of William and Kate. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were then seated one row in front of the Sussexes.

When they reached their seats, William and Kate greeted the couple with a quick nod and “hello” in what turned out to be a brief photo opportunity. While royal watchers wanted to see more, there were also questions about why the couples were not seated on the same row.

According to Hello Magazine, the Cambridges and the Sussexes were separated by a row of seats because of their place in the line of succession. Prince Harry is currently sixth in line to the throne, which is why he was seated in the second row.

With William being second in line to the throne he was seated next to Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, and Queen Elizabeth. Although some fans thought it was odd, the seating arrangement was actually dictated by tradition.

Inside Prince Harry and Prince William’s icy exchange

Fans have been waiting for weeks to see William and Harry reunite for the last time, and many viewers were sorely disappointed with the reunion.

The only time William and Harry interacted with each other was when the Cambridges sat down. And the only greeting they showed was a quick nod of the head. While Harry and Meghan chatted it up with Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, William and Kate kept their attention straight ahead.

The event is the first time fans have seen Prince William and Prince Harry together since he announced his exit in January. There is no telling where their relationship stands, but fans immediately picked up on the tension.

“And William and Kate ignored them. Shameful…” one fan wrote on Twitter, while another added, “I’m still chipping the ice off my phone screen! Ouch! Definitely a chill between the Cambridges and Sussexes. Meghan attempted to say hello 3 times to no avail. Harry does NOT look happy at all.”

Prince William and Prince Harry have not commented on the reports surrounding their complicated relationship. Harry and Meghan are now expected to return to Canada to reunite with their son, Archie Harrison, who was left in the care of a nanny.