Why were Prince Harry and Meghan absent from Order of the Garter ceremony?

By Meaghan Wray

The Dutch and Spanish royals descended on Windsor to join the British royals for the Order of the Garter ceremony on Monday (June 17). As Queen Máxima, Queen Letizia, Duchess Kate and the Duchess of Cornwall stole the show together, there were two family members noticeably absent from the festivities: Prince Harry and Meghan.

It makes sense that new mom Meghan wasn’t present on the exciting day, given that she’s still officially on maternity leave with her baby boy, Archie Harrison. There’s a simple reason why Harry wasn’t there, either – he isn’t a Knight of the Garter.

Members of the public gathered to watch the Order of the Garter. Photo: © Getty Images

“The Duke of Sussex is not a Knight of the Garter and will probably not be invested until his father is King,” royal expert Marlene Koenig told Harper’s Bazaar last year. “The Duchess of Sussex has never attended and will probably not attend until Harry is named.”

Despite being so young, soon-to-be-37-year-old Prince William likely made the cut given he’s second in line to the throne, following Prince Charles, 70. While Meghan is unlikely to be spotted at the extravagant occasion any time soon, there are plenty of other royal events for her to look forward to.

This year’s ceremony was particularly special, given Letizia and Máxima’s husbands – King Felipe VI of Spain and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, respectively – were invested as Knights of the Garter. The two stylish queens were on hand to celebrate the occasion, each dazzling in different but equally elegant ensembles.

The Countess of Wessex, Queen Letizia, the Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Máxima and Duchess Kate gathered for the festivities. Photo: © Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge looked beautiful as ever in a crisp white coat dress by her go-to designer Catherine Walker, while Letizia chose a monochrome Cherubina dress and Máxima went with a blush pink caped and belted dress. Camilla was on hand to help direct the ladies, wearing a pale pink coat dress and wide-brimmed straw hat for the sunny day in London.

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