Pomp, pageantry and Philip mark Queen's birthday parade
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip stand on the Buckingham Palace balcony following the 'Trooping the Colour' at Horse Guards Parade in London on Saturday. The ceremony is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. In 1748, it was decided that the parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign. More than 600 guardsmen and cavalry make up the parade. (AFP/GettyImages)
All was as it shoud be.
In a country that stands on tradition, it must have been comforting to watch a ceremony that goes back more than 260 years, and to once again see the familiar sight of Prince Philip standing by his Queen.
After a few weeks laid up from a bladder infection, the Duke of Edinburgh re-emerged in full military dress to take part in the Trooping the Colour ceremony, marking the Queen's official state birthday (her real birthday is April 21).
It's a pageant filled with all the regal trappings, from the glass coach to the bearskin hats of the soldiers on parade to the gathering of the Royal Family on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Top it off with a flypast of British jets and you have a perfect day for monarchy marketing.
The Queen, looking happy with her husband once again nearby, stood out in her yellow coat and hat by Angela Kelly. Her granddaughter-in-law, Kate, was equally eye-catchng in a light grey Erdem dress and Jane Corbett hat (right, with Camilla). Prince Philip, weighed down by medals, wore his uniform of Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.
About 1,600 soldiers and riders took part in the parade, which also included Prince William, Prince Charles and Princess Anne on horseback.
As is the custom, the Queen also put out her Birthday Honors List, bestowing knighthoods or Order of the British Empire on those deemed to have given service to the community or their industry. Many are non-celebrities, but among the better known were actress Kat Winslet, actor Kenneth Branagh and fashion designer Sarah Burton, who created Kate's wedding dress.
Members of Britain's Royal family watch the flypast from the balcony after the Trooping the Colour: (L-R) Prince Andrew; Sophie, Countess of Wessex; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; Prince Charles; Prince Edward; Queen Elizabeth; Princess Anne; Prince Philip; Tim Lawrence; Louise Windsor; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; Prince William; Princess Eugenie, and Prince Harry. (Reuters)
Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Lady Louise Windsor, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smile at the crowd gathered at Buckingham Palace balcony following the Queen's birthday parade. (AFP/GettyImages)