Pregnant Meghan absent as Prince Harry joins Queen and senior royals for Easter Sunday church service

Robert Jobson, Hatty Collier

The Queen celebrated her 93rd birthday with her family at the annual Easter Sunday service in Windsor today amid reports of upheaval in The Firm.

A total of 16 members of the Royal Family among an 800-strong congregation at the chapel inside Windsor Castle, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex.

They included Princes Anne, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew and his elder daughter Princess Beatrice, the Earl of Wessex with their children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. Zara and Mike were joined by Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn.

Prince William, 36, and Prince Harry, 34, did not speak to each other on the way in or out of the chapel and were separated by their cousin Zara Tindall and her husband Mike.

They appeared, rather stiffly, in public together as reports emerged of a plan to send Harry and his wife Meghan to Africa to capitalise on their appeal to young people in the Commonwealth and to put further distance between them and the Cambridges after tensions between the two couples.

Queen Elizabeth (L) is welcomed by The Dean of Windsor David Conner (EPA)

The extended family were expected to stay for lunch afterwards with the Queen in the castle. Meghan, 37, who is due to give birth to her first child at the end of this month, was not at the Easter Mattins service. Nor was the Duke of Edinburgh, who has retired from public duties.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Autumn Phillips, and Peter Phillips (EPA)

On the most important day in the Christian calendar, the Queen was driven to the chapel, where her family gathered in the 23C spring sunshine to greet her after walking down the hill from the Royal Family’s private quarters.

Queen Elizabeth II waves as she leaves the Easter Mattins Service at St George's Chapel (REUTERS)

Outside the 14th century gothic chapel’s Galilee Porch, they chatted as they waited for her, Harry talking to Zara and exchanging pleasantries with Kate but saying nothing to his brother.

As the Queen, in a mint green coat with matching hat and pink ribbon, walked into the chapel, the royal ladies all curtseyed deeply and the men bowed their heads. All that is except William, who watched his grandmother go by and only seemed to remember to give a neck bow after she had already gone into the chapel.

Prince Harry is due to become a father any day now (AFP/Getty Images)

He and Kate, who was wearing a light blue Alexander McQueen outfit she sported in Sydney on Easter Sunday in 2014, were late for the service last year, arriving after the Queen.

Meghan and Harry are expecting their first child in the coming days (PA)

The family then followed the Queen inside the chapel for the hour-long service led by the Right Reverend David Conner, Dean of Windsor.

While the royal party were taking their seats the organist played Happy Birthday To You in honour of the monarch’s big day.

April 21 - the day the Queen was born - is the first of the monarch's two birthdays. She also has an official one on the second Saturday in June each year, which is commemorated with the Trooping the Colour parade.

In his sermon, the Dean did not mention the royal birthday but discussed the Easter message of love and the terrible fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris last week. He also read from Easter poetry by the Christian socialist Charles Kingsley, author of The Water Babies, whose birth 200 years ago will be celebrated in June.

After the service, the Queen and her family went for drinks in the Deanery before leaving from separate exits.

As the monarch returned to her car at the Galilee Porch, the crowd -members of the public let in to watch and some of the congregation - sang Happy Birthday, as she was given flowers by two boys, Rufus Travers-Brown and Edward Bland, the sons of lay clerks (adult choristers) at the chapel.

Up the hill, the rest of the family emerged from the Deanery, filing in a single line up the steps with Harry once again separated from William and Kate by Zara and Mike.