The Queen supported by royal family as she celebrates Trooping the Colour birthday parade – best photos

The official Platinum Jubilee celebrations have kicked off with the first event of the bank holiday weekend, Trooping the Colour.

On Thursday morning, the Queen led her family in marking her annual birthday parade – a military spectacle that involved more than 1,200 officers and soldiers and 240 horses from the Household Division putting on a display of pageantry. Hundreds of army musicians also added to the festivities as the colour was trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.

Kate was joined by Camilla and her three children in one carriage

Thousands of royal fans descended on the Mall in central London to watch the parade and see the Queen and members of her family. See the best photos from the day below…

Trooping the Colour is an exciting event in the royal diary, full of pomp and ceremony. The Queen was on fitting form as she attended her first wide-scale birthday event since the pandemic. While many of us would like to celebrate our birthdays twice a year, this tradition is reserved for the monarch.

It started in 1748 with George II, who was born in chilly November. Instead of risking his subjects catching a cold, he combined his birthday celebration with the annual spring parade known as Trooping the Colour, hence why a British sovereign’s birthday is now also celebrated on a day other than their actual birth date.

George, Charlotte and Louis rode opposite their mum as they made their carriage debut

The Queen usually rides in a carriage from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade to see the colour trooped. In her younger years, she also took part in the military event on horseback. But given her mobility issues, this year the Queen, 96, will take the salute from the palace balcony to avoid her making the journey by carriage or sitting on a dais for a lengthy period of time.

The children sweetly waved at crowds

At Thursday’s event, Prince Charles, Prince William – who is colonel of the Irish Guards regiment – and Princess Anne travelled by horseback to Horse Guards Parade where Charles took the salute and inspected the Troops of the Household Division on his mother’s behalf.

Prince Edward and Sophie were accompanied by their teenage children in one carriage

Meanwhile, other members of the royal family travelled to Horse Guards Parade in carriages. The Duchess of Cambridge was her typically elegant self in a white coat dress. She was joined by her three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and Prince Charles’s wife the Duchess of Cornwall, who also looked lovely in blue, in one carriage.

Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn sat opposite their children

The Earl and the Countess of Wessex were accompanied by their two children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount, Severn in another carriage. 

The Gloucesters rode one carriage with Princess Anne’s husband Sir Tim Laurence

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, also shared another carriage.

After arriving at Horse Guards Parade, the royals then watched the parade from the Major General’s Office.

Prince William and Princess Anne rode on horseback during the parade

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