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Why did Meghan Markle miss the first balcony appearance at Trooping the Colour?

Where was the Duchess of Sussex?

Jenni McKnight

This weekend, the Queen will mark a low-key Trooping the Colour as she attends her birthday parade without members of the royal family. The monarch is usually joined by her loved ones in London, but given the current climate, she will be celebrating the day with a scaled-back event in Windsor, where she is currently spending lockdown.

MORE: When royal girlfriends and children make their debuts at Trooping the Colour - see photos

WATCH: Where was Meghan Markle during the family's appearance?

At last year's event, one family member who did make a surprise appearance was the Duchess of Sussex. Meghan had been on maternity leave since welcoming her first child, Archie Harrison, with her husband, the Duke of Sussex, in May 2019. She joined the royals for their iconic Buckingham Palace balcony appearance to watch the RAF flypast, although Meghan was nowhere to be seen earlier on in the ceremony, when the Queen returned back to the palace in her carriage.

MORE: This is the Queen's favourite gin cocktail - and it sounds delicious!

Typically, members of the royal family appear on the balcony as the Queen returns – but Meghan was notably absent from the welcoming committee. One reason could be that she was having a quick outfit change as when she returned to the balcony to watch the flypast, she was without her coat and gloves. Another reason may be that she was tending to Archie behind the scenes, who was too young to make a public appearance.

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Meghan appeared on the balcony for the flypast later in the ceremony

Although Meghan was on maternity leave and did not carry out any official duties during that time, HELLO! understands that she was keen to be part of the big family event to honour the monarch. At the time, a royal source told HELLO!: "The Duchess is still on maternity leave, but this is a family moment, with the wider members of the royal family all in attendance. The Queen’s birthday celebration is a family event."

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Meghan made a surprise appearance

RELATED: All the best photos from Trooping the Colour 2019

Meanwhile, Meghan looked absolutely gorgeous in a bespoke navy design from Givenchy, with a hat, peacock blue clutch, and emerald-cut earrings. Her appearance marked the first time we'd seen a third ring nestled on her wedding ring finger, which could have been a push present from husband, Prince Harry.

The delicate pave-set band sat alongside her engagement and wedding rings - the perfect place for a ring from her beloved to celebrate the birth of their first child. A push present, sometimes referred to as a push gift, is a present gifted by a partner to the mother of their child and typically comes in the form of a ring, necklace or bracelet. 

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