kate middleton and meghan markle seating arrangement

Why Meghan Markle sat behind Kate Middleton at Commonwealth Day service

Prince William and Kate were sat front row

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Members of the royal family were reunited on Monday as they celebrated Commonwealth Day at Westminster Abbey. The Queen led the royals in attending the service and was given pride of place on the front row. Joining her were Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William and Kate. Viewers watching the service which was televised on BBC One may have wondered why Prince Harry and Meghan were sat behind the rest of their family, but the reason is simple.

The royals took the same seats as they did at last year's traditional service, with the more senior members of the family – Her Majesty, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – sitting closest to the altar. Harry and Meghan were joined on their own row by Prince Andrew, who is seventh-in-line to the throne.

kate-middleton-and-meghan-markle-seating

Harry and Meghan sat behind the rest of the family

The Queen became Head of the Commonwealth in 1952 when she was just 26 years old. This year's theme of the service was 'A Connected Commonwealth' and reflects how it is made up of 53 countries and almost 2.4 billion people, a third of the world's population. Her Majesty is also patron of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, while Harry is president, and Meghan is vice-president.

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The royals had the same seating arrangement last year

Other guests of honour among the 2,000 strong congregation included Prime Minister Theresa May, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, alongside high commissioners, ambassadors and dignitaries, senior politicians from across the UK and the Commonwealth, faith leaders and over 800 school children and young people.

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Harry and Meghan visit Canada House earlier in the day:

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Highlights of the service included a special musical performance by Grammy-winning group Clean Bandit and tenor Alfie Boe. A reflection was given by Lewis Pugh, an endurance swimmer, ocean advocate and the UN Patron of the Oceans.

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