Queen and Duke attend birthday Trooping the Colour ceremony

Highlights of Trooping the Colour

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The Duke of Edinburgh appeared to be in good spirits as he attended the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony in honour of the Queen's official birthday.

Prince Philip, who has resumed official duties after recovering from a bladder infection, attended the parade in London with the Queen.

Thousands of people watched the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge ride to the ceremony at Horse Guards Parade.

The military event came as the Queen's Birthday Honours list was published.

The Queen and Prince Philip rode in a glass coach down the Mall to the ceremony. They were due to travel in Queen Victoria's 1842 ivory-mounted phaeton carriage but this was changed due to the "unpredictable nature of the weather", a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.


For almost two weeks the Queen has carried out her public duties without her husband at her side. While Prince Philip was in hospital, and then recuperating at home, it was left to other senior members of the royal family to accompany the monarch.

But her husband was back for one of the grand occasions in the royal calendar - the Trooping the Colour.

The plan was for them to travel together in an open topped carriage for the ceremony to mark the Queens official birthday. But instead they used the covered glass coach - a concession to the unpredictable weather, but perhaps also to the duke's health.

Prince Philip, who is now 91, showed no obvious signs of having recently been in hospital. He watched intently as 1,600 troops gathered on Horseguards Parade in the traditional display of pomp and pageantry.

After taking the salute the Queen and the Duke returned to Buckingham Palace and, surrounded by the royal family, watched the traditional flypast from the balcony.

The coach, built in 1881, was first used by the Queen and Duke on their wedding day when they travelled from Westminster Abbey to the palace on 20 November 1947.

The Duke of Cambridge, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards and the Prince of Wales, who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards, were joined on horseback by the Princess Royal, Colonel of the Blues and Royals, and the Duke of Kent, Colonel of the Scots Guards.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cornwall travelled in a horse drawn carriage.

The parade was Prince Charles' first public appearance since being awarded the highest rank in all three military services by the Queen.

The prince becomes a Field Marshal, Admiral of the Fleet and Marshal of the Royal Air Force. His appointment to the honorary five-star ranks recognises his support for the Queen as Commander-in-Chief.

Also honoured in the Birthday Honours list are actor and director Kenneth Branagh who has been knighted, ex-Olympic minister Tessa Jowell is made a Dame while Take That singer Gary Barlow is made an OBE.

Soul singer Omar receives an MBE for services to music, under his full name Omar Lye Fook, and Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet becomes a CBE.

'Trooped' flags

Thousands of people, including friends and family of those taking part, watched the precision marching by hundreds of Guardsmen.

The Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry attended the ceremony Thousands watched the ceremony, which was attended by a number of royals

The Queen, wearing her Brigade of Guards brooch, took the royal salute as senior members of the royal family looked on.

After the parade, thousands of well-wishers swarmed down the Mall to get into position in front of Buckingham Palace to see the royal family gather on the balcony for the flypast.

The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year is the flag of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.

More than 1,600 officers and soldiers took part in the display.

More than 240 horses were on parade, with 290 musicians who marched and played as one.

The traditional display of pomp and pageantry originated from traditional preparations of battle.

Colours, or flags, were carried or "trooped" down the rank so that it could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.

In the 18th Century, guards from the royal palaces assembled daily on Horse Guards to "troop the colours", and in 1748 it was announced that the parade would also mark the sovereign's official birthday.

The Queen's actual birthday was on 21 April, when she turned 86.

During her reign, the Queen, who has recently celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, has attended Trooping the Colour every year except in 1955, when it was cancelled because of the national rail strike.

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