On Saturday, June 8, Meghan Markle returned to the royal scene for the first time since giving birth to baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. She and husband Prince Harry appeared in a carriage with Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles for the Trooping the Colour celebrations to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 93 birthday.
According to CNN, the Duchess of Sussex, who is still technically on maternity leave, wanted to attend because it was an important family celebration. She has missed several high profile royal events as she stays home to raise her new son. Last week, she missed out on a royal banquet served to honor Donald Trump.
On Saturday, she chose to leave baby Archie behind to make her first appearance at an official royal event.
The Trooping the Colour is a massive event in the U.K. that involves more than 200 horses, 400 musicians, and 1,400 officers. The parade moves along the Mall in London where thousands of people gather to watch the procession. The tradition began as a way for the leader of the military — in this case, Queen Elizabeth — to review the army. Now, it is more of a performance used to help celebrate the Queen’s birthday.
While the monarch’s actual birthday is April 21, it is officially celebrated in June for an entire weekend.
After the horse-drawn carriage rode along the parade route, a smiling Markle joined the rest of the family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
— Mirror Breaking News (@MirrorBreaking_) June 8, 2019
Markle stood behind other members of the family, a position that reflects their lower position in the royal pecking order, according to People.
“She was not as prominent perhaps as some people might have expected, but there’s a pecking order,” a royal expert said. “There was no slight intended, but William being the older, more senior brother would go out [first] with his wife.”
One royal expert told The Sun that Markle’s appearance at the parade could be interpreted as a deliberate snub directed towards President Trump, especially since she recently missed out on the aforementioned banquet.
“I don’t think [Meghan would] miss an opportunity like that – it’s totally high profile, so then it makes her, will make her point with Trump – ‘I didn’t come to the state banquet, here I am at the Trooping the Colour parade!'” she said.
Baby Archie was reportedly left in the care of a royal staff member. The couple welcomed their first baby five weeks ago on May 6.