Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's return to the U.K. for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee is a big deal:

It's the first time the royal couple have attended a major royal event

since their sensational departure from the senior royal family—and subsequent move to Montecito, California—in 2020.

Royal watchers weren't expecting to see Meghan and Harry Thursday morning during Trooping the Colour

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's return to the U.K.3

it had been firmly established that the couple would not pose for the traditional royal family balcony photo

In the photographs, Meghan jokes and plays with some of the royal children

Mike and Zara Tindell's kids Mia and Lena, and Peter Phillips' daughters Savannah and Isla—as they watch the Trooping the Colour parade.

Meghan looked gorgeous in a navy dress for the event; she also wore a large white hat with a navy ribbon to match her dress

Meghan looked gorgeous in a navy dress for the event; she also wore a large white hat with a navy ribbon to match her dress