In Pictures: Trooping the Colour

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image captionPrince William - Flight Lieutenant Wales - joined more than 1,000 soldiers and horses for the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony on Horse Guards Parade. It is held to mark the Queen's official birthday.
image captionThe Queen - dressed in a royal blue Angela Kelly coat and hat - attended the event without her husband, Prince Philip. He remains in a London hospital after exploratory bowel surgery.
image captionThe Duchess of Cambridge made her last public appearance before the birth of her first child, due next month. Wearing a pale pink Alexander McQueen coat and hat, she sat alongside the Duchess of Cornwall to watch the parade.
image captionCrowds - including friends and family of the soldiers taking part - lined the Mall. Later they watched the traditional RAF flypast, involving Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster aircraft, and a display by the Red Arrows.
image captionThe display of pomp and pageantry originates from traditional preparations for battle. Colours were carried or "trooped" down the rank so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.
image captionThe Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. The unit has recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan.
image captionSome spectators found a prime vantage point to watch Saturday's proceedings. Among the other members of the Royal Family in attendance were the Duke of York and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex with their daughter Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor.
image captionFollowing a 41-gun salute, fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park, the royals gathered on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch the fly-past.
image captionThe Queen celebrated her actual birthday on 21 April, when she turned 87, but today's ceremony marked her official birthday - which is always in June.

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