Royals put on a big show in Trooping the Colour

QueenQueen Elizabeth and Prince Philip ride in an open horse drawn carriage as she returns to Buckingham Palace from the Horse Guards Parade. (AP)

Photo gallery: Trooping the Colour


You have to hand it to the British monarchy. They know how to put on spectacles.

Another example came Saturday as the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony took place in London, bringing out thousands of spectators to mark the official celebration of Queen Elizabeth's birthday. Although she was actually born on April 21 (she's 85), the country annually marks the occasion with a lavish review of the troops in June.

This was an especially noteworthy ceremony with the inclusion of Prince William for the first time, riding a grey horse through the city on William in his Irish Guards uniform, topped by the traditional bearskin hat.

His new bride Kate, of course, was among the throng of Royal Family members who took part in the parade. For this occasion, she wore an ivory jacket and black hat. Just hours after the ceremony, she kept her hat, changed her dress and was off to a wedding, accompanied by her sister Pippa, where she watched friend San Waley-Cohen marry party planner Bella Balin. Waley-Cohon has been credited with putting Kate and William back together after a brief split in 2007.

The custom of the Trooping the Colour has been held since 1748 and this year involved more than 600 regimental members. The Queen, who has led every Trooping the Colour since 1951, inspected the long line of troops from the Welsh, Grenadier, Scots and Coldstream Guards at the Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall before heading back to Buckingham Palace in a horse drawn carriage. She was accompanied by Prince Philip, who celebrated his 90th birthday on Friday.

Earlier in the day, the Queen had awarded a set of honours to people judged to have made an exceptional contribution to society.

Among the honourees was British actor Colin Firth, who won an Oscar for portraying King George VI in "The King's Speech." He was named a Commander of the British Empire or CBE.


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