Prince Harry's '19 minutes of pain' at Queen's Jubilee highlights Royal family rift

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attends the National Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen's reign at Saint Paul's Cathedral in London
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Prince Harry, having stepped back from Royal duties and relocated to the US, left behind almost everything familiar to him. Raised within the confines of the Royal Family, Harry had only ever known the strict hierarchies of the monarchy and his high-ranking role within it.

His celebrated career in the Armed Forces also placed him within another hierarchical institution with even stricter regulations. Yet despite stepping down from official duties, the Duke has continued to attend family events, with one significant ceremony reportedly seeing him endure "19 minutes of pain" as it became evident that his status within the family had changed irrevocably, a Royal expert claims.

The event was the National Service of Thanksgiving, part of the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations in 2022. This occasion marked the first time Meghan and Harry attended the same event as William and Kate since their departure from Royal duties and their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey the previous year.

The service was held at St. Paul's Cathedral, the same venue where William and Harry's parents wed 41 years prior, reports the Mirror.

harry and meghan
At the event, Harry's role within the Royal Family drastically changed explained one expert -Credit:Getty Images

The couples were seated on opposite sides of the cathedral, with Kate and William in the front row alongside then-Prince Charles and Camilla. In contrast, Harry and Meghan were positioned next to their cousins Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice and their husbands Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank.

Richard Kay, writing for the Mail, suggested that the seating arrangement highlighted the "public reality of Harry's slide down the royal pecking order" before labelling Charles, Camilla, William and Kate as the "real stars of the show."

"As non-working royals, they are now very much in the second division," he commented. "And although spared the indignity of sharing the coach that brought a clutch of minor royals who similarly do not do official duties, such as Princess Michael of Kent's son Lord Frederick Windsor, they were only just behind them."

Kay added: "It was a painful 19 minutes before William and Kate arrived to take their seats. If the reality of his new life had escaped Prince Harry thus far, it must surely have sunk in then."

Two years on from the incident, there appears to be little progress in mending the rift between the two brothers, which was evident during the celebration of Queen Elizabeth's 70-year reign.

Their grandmother's death a few months later brought them together under more somber circumstances. However, the release of Harry and Meghan's six-part Netflix documentary, along with Harry's revealing memoir Spare, seemed to widen the gap between the brothers.

Since Kate's disclosure of her cancer treatment, it has been reported that Harry and Meghan have "reached out" to the Wales family in private while also publicly backing Kate's plea for privacy during her treatment and recovery period. However, despite this gesture, the brothers did not meet during Harry's recent trip to the UK for the 10th anniversary of the Invictus Games, leaving questions about whether they will reconcile.