It was a glorious spring day for this year’s Trooping the Colour Ceremony; you can see the sun and clouds at Buckingham Palace this morning in a photo shared by royal photographer Mark Stewart on Twitter.
The Queen attended with the Duke of Kent; Prince Philip remains in the hospital where he is recovering from abdominal surgery. It is thought to be only the third time Prince Philip was not part of the event.
HM has participated every year of her with the exception of 1955 when there was a national railroad strike. Just behind the Queen’s carriage, you can see Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Prince William on horseback.
Kate, Prince Harry and Camilla shared a carriage this year.
The annual event is the official celebration of the Queen’s Birthday, a day for more than 1,000 soldiers and horses to shine, as noted by this tweet from the Grenadier Guards Band.
Below we see last-minute preps by the Blues & Royals Band, one of two mounted bands in the British Army.
Here we see the Blues and Royals ready to go.
Below, Her Majesty is resplendent in a blue Angela Kelly ensemble, with the Duke of Kent accompanying her on the dais. You can also see Prince Charles, Prince William, and Princess Anne in the photo from Paul Harrison of Sky News. Princess Anne is Colonel of the Blues and Royals, Prince Charles is Colonel of the Welsh Guards, and Prince William is Colonel of the Irish Guards.
The pageantry is remarkable.
The Queen’s actual birthday is April 21, for centuries this public celebration has been held in the summer when the weather is much nicer. Below, the Band of the Scots Guards.
Another view of Kate and Camilla.
The event concludes with a flypast (fly by in the US) Buckingham Palace, a wide variety of military aircraft take part.
Kate was in a custom piece by Alexander McQueen.
The coat looks to be a lightweight wool crepe. It features a wide collar, side darting, three-quarter sleeves and oversized pearl buttons.
A better look at the domed buttons, you just about see their ornate filigree decor.
The Duchess carried her grey McQueen clutch and wore Annoushka pearl earrings.
Here we see many of the royals gathered with her majesty, including (from left to right) the Princess Royal, HM, the Duke of York, Prince Harry, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice and the Duke of Kent.
Following today’s festivities, the Queen was off to the hospital to pay a visit to Prince Philip.
Today’s appearance by the Duchess is being billed as her “last public appearance” until after the birth of her first child in July, although there are some reports she will take part in Monday’s Order of the Garter events.