Here's Who Joined The Queen On The Balcony Of Buckingham Palace For Her Platinum Jubilee

Summer 2022 marks a significant milestone for the royal family. That's because it marks Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee, a celebration of her 70 years on the throne. A lot has changed for Elizabeth during her long reign. In the last few years alone, she's lost her husband, Prince Philip, and has had to deal with a slew of familial scandals on top of that.

Chief among Elizabeth's problems is her son Prince Andrew. In 2015, Andrew was implicated in the Jeffery Epstein scandal. A woman named Virginia Giuffre claimed the prince had sexually abused her on multiple occasions when she was a teen. Though he adamantly denied the claims, the damage to his reputation was irrevocable. In January, he settled the issue out of court, but by that point, he'd already been stripped of nearly every birth and honorary title he'd been given — including "His Royal Highness." Then there's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. After walking away from the royal family in 2019 and moving to the U.S., their personal lives and fallout with Prince William and Charles have been the subject of intense scrutiny.

Given the family's inner turmoil, there have been months of speculation about who would be invited or who would opt to join Queen Elizabeth II at the public celebration of her Jubilee on the famed Buckingham Palace balcony.

Queen Elizabeth II was surrounded by her inner circle

While Queen Elizabeth would no doubt have preferred to have her late husband, Prince Phillip, by her side during her Platinum Jubilee, she happily made do with her cousin, Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent. In the year since Philip's death, Edward (not to be confused with Elizabeth's son, also named Prince Edward) has stepped up and appeared alongside the queen at a number of public events, per People. In 2021, for example, Edward was the only member of the royal family present with the queen at the Trooping of the Colour.

As expected, Elizabeth was also joined by her heirs, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, and their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, per The New York Times. No surprises there. What's more interesting, though, is who was absent. In what will likely prove to be a good PR move, Elizabeth evidently opted to exclude her troubled son Prince Andrew from the day's festivities.

Buckingham Palace confirmed several weeks before the celebration that the queen was limiting balcony attendance to royals performing royal duties, meaning Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were also out, according to People. However, they are operating behind the scenes this weekend and will even celebrate their daughter Lilibet's first birthday with the queen. Notably, William and Kate will not attend the celebration. Instead, they will be representing the queen in Cardiff at a Jubilee celebration on Saturday, per the Daily Mail.