The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their first post-wedding appearance on Tuesday for Prince Charles' 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration in the Buckingham Palace gardens. Prince Harry took to the podium to say a few words while Meghan Markle stood with Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.
Notably, though, two royal family members were missing from the event: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Prince William was speaking today at a tribute to the Manchester Arena bombing victims which took place at Manchester Cathedral. , 22 people were killed and hundreds were injured when a bomb went off at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.
William gave a solemn honoring the victims then placed a message on the Tree of Hope, a memorial on which people can leave rememberance notes.
Kate Middleton was at neither engagement today. Technically, she is still on her maternity leave after giving birth to the couple's third child, Prince Louis, who was born on April 23.
"It is traditional for new royal mums to take a six-month break from official engagements," royal biographer, Duncan Larcombe explains to BAZAAR.com. "The wedding doesn’t count because it was a 'family affair' but other than that, she will pick and choose her engagements."
Larcombe, the author of , predicts the next time we'll see Middleton will be at the Trooping of the Colour, the Queen's official birthday celebration, in June. But he adds: "If she wanted, Kate could disappear into the background until October!"
Letting Prince Harry and Meghan have their first post-wedding appearance to themselves could have also been part the plan, explains royal historian Marlene Koenig.
"The Duchess of Cambridge is on maternity leave, but I believe the idea was to have the newlyweds attend — the Duchess of Sussex’s first engagement as a royal — and accompany the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall," she says. "This would allow the new Duchess to experience her first royal engagement after her wedding."
Kate probably didn't mind sitting this one out, says Larcombe.
"To be honest, the annual garden parties are seen as a chore. Two thousand guests trying to speak to a royal," he says, "so I’m not in the least bit surprised Kate has given it a swerve."
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