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Meghan and Harry bid farewell to royal duties as 'goodbye tour' ends

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

After 10 months, Meghan Markle made her last official appearance as a senior royal alongside her husband Prince Harry.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Service looking relaxed after a hectic past few days which have seen them attend a string of public events.

Their goodbye tour has included the Endeavour Fund Awards, a military musical festival at the Royal Albert Hall and Meghan's secret visit to a school in Dagenham, east London, to celebrate International Women's Day.

The couple do not officially step down from their roles as working members of the royal family until March 31.

But the service was the symbolic end of their life supporting Queen Elizabeth.

Meghan was seen to mouth "hi" and give a small wave to William and Kate, followed by a "hello", as the Cambridges took their seats in the High Altar in the row in front of the Sussexes.

Harry also said "hello" and smiled at his brother.

Prince Edward partly rose to greet the Cambridges, but Sophie and the Sussexes remained seated.

Meghan later chatted animatedly to Edward as they waited for the queen to arrive, with Harry joining in the conversation and putting his arm on the back of Meghan's chair as he did so.

As the members of the royal family arrived they were introduced to a line of dignitaries, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, but no one shook hands as they greeted each other.

It is understood the queen and other royals were following Abbey protocol following the coronavirus outbreak.

Meghan was dressed in a glamorous green Emilia Wickstead dress with a dramatic asymmetrical cape, and hat by William Chambers with flamboyant netting, while Kate wore a red Catherine Walker outfit and a hat by Sally-Ann Provan.

In a change from last year's event the Sussexes were shown to their seats and did not wait at the Abbey's great west door to meet Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and the queen before processing at the start of the ceremony.

The move is likely to be interpreted by commentators as their impending exit from 'The Firm' - dubbed Megxit - although the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, unlike last year, also took their place in the 2,000-strong congregation and were not in the procession through the Abbey.

From March 31, the monarch's grandson and American former actress Meghan will no longer use their HRH styles as they pursue a new life of personal and financial freedom, mostly based in North America.

On that date Meghan will bow out of royal life just one year, 10 months and 12 days - or 682 days - after marrying into the family.

She previously spent almost five years longer appearing on screen in the US drama 'Suits'.

Irish Independent