Every year, the monarch’s birthday is officially celebrated in a ceremony known as Trooping of The Colour. Despite Queen Elizabeth‘s actual birthday being April 21st, this is a grand tradition in Britain which, according to the Telegraph, is “an enactment of the traditional preparations for battle when the Colours, or flags of a regiment were “trooped” down the ranks in order to be recognised by soldiers.”
Most members of the royal family gathered for the annual event, which saw Prince William, Prince Charles, the Duke of Kent and Princess Anne in their respective uniforms as Royal Colonels – The Duke of Cambridge is Colonel of The Irish Guards, the Prince of Wales, Colonel of The Welsh Guards, Princess Anne, Colonel of The Blues And Royals, and The Duke of Kent, Colonel of The Scots Guards.
Last year, William made his Horse Guards parade debut, having been appointed a few months before his wedding in April 2011. Speaking of the royal wedding, the Queen recycled her bright Angela Kelly coat for today, quite pleased to be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, who had suffered a bladder infection last week.
The Duchess of Cambridge wore a silk dress by Montreal-born designer Erdem, accessorized with Links of London drop earrings, according to What Kate Wore. Atop her head sat a Jane Corbett fascinator, drawing attention to her enviable locks. On the balcony at Buckingham Palace, Catherine chatted animatedly with Prince Philip, who seemed to be in good spirits despite still recovering from his ailment. She bent down to talk to Lady Louise Windsor, Prince Edward‘s daughter and bridesmaid in her wedding.
And what about Harry?
Prince Harry looked smart in his Blues and Royals uniform and Army Corps beret, waving to the crowds in a carriage opposite the Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine.
The event was a magnificent display of military pomp and pageantry – the color being paraded on Horse Guards belonged to the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, led by Major Mark Lewis, according to the Daily Mail. More than 1600 soldiers and officers took part in the parade, dressed in uniforms of the Household Cavalry, Royal Horse Artillery and Foot Guards.
Then it was on to the balcony, where the royals watched a fly past overhead to mark the occasion. Her Majesty has been taking part in this event since 1951, when she had to stand in for her ailing father, King George VI.