All eyes were on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as they took their seats in Westminster Abbey for their final royal engagment.
The couple joined the Queen, Prince Charles, Camilla and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at the Commonwealth Day Service just days before they officially stepped down as senior royals.
People were particularly interested to see how the Fab Four interacted following countless rumours of a fallout between Diana’s two sons and their wives.
Fans were quick to pick up on a lack of any real conversation between the two couples, but a lip reader did manage to pick up one of William’s comments to his wife.
In his new book, Battle of Brothers, royal expert and author Robert Lacey recalls the day, which reportedly caused a lot of upset behind the scenes.
Commenting on the two couples’ behaviour on the day, he writes: “Nor could it be said that the two royal brothers made any great personal efforts to ‘chum up’ together once they found themselves seated close.”
He also reveals William’s “longest coherent sentence that TV-watching lipreaders could work out”, but notes it had nothing to do with Harry.
The event took place shortly before the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, before lockdown was introduced, and the Duke comments on the changes to protocol.
Turning to Kate, he said: “This whole handshaking thing is weird. We’re going to have to put a load of hand gel on after this.”
Meghan and Harry’s final engagement caused a lot of upset before it even began, with the logistics reportedly resulting in tense conversations.
The Sussexes weren’t included in the official procession into the Abbey, and as they were technically now ‘junior royals’ they would have to simply find their seats with the rest of the guests and wait for their more senior relatives to arrive.
They were reportedly extremely angry and upset when they found out they weren’t on the list, but William stepped in to try and ease the situation.
It was decided that the Cambridges would also skip the formal entrance so it didn’t look quite so obvious that the Sussexes didn’t make the cut.
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However there was one issue with the plan – they came up with it after the orders of services, which said Kate and William would arrive with the Queen, had been printed, so they were wrong.
Lacey writes: “So there was the snub in black and white – plainly set out for all to see.”
At the time, Buckingham Palace commented that there is “no set format” for the annual event.
Robert Lacey’s Battle of Brothers is out now.