The Duchess of Cambridge as she leaves St Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk following the traditional Christmas Day service with Prince Harry and Autumn Phillips. Photo: Chris Radburn.

Kate joins Queen’s birthday event

The Queen has celebrated her official birthday with the pomp and pageantry of the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

The event also saw the Duchess of Cambridge carry out her first official engagement since the birth of Princess Charlotte six weeks ago.

Joined by all the adult senior royals, the monarch inspected 1100 soldiers of the Household Division at Horse Guards Parade in central London.

The Queen arrived in an Ascot Landau vintage carriage after the short drive down The Mall from Buckingham Palace, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.

Wearing a peach and silver dress and coat by Angela Kelly and a matching hat – worn previously for the Diamond Jubilee horse pageant in May 2012 – the Queen later joined members of the royal family to watch the birthday parade from the balcony of the Wellington’s office.

The Prince of Wales, who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards, the Princess Royal, who is Colonel of the Blues and Royals, and the Duke of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards, were all on horseback for the ceremony.

The Duchess of Cambridge, in a coat by Catherine Walker and hat by Lock and Co, arrived in a coach alongside Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cornwall.

There was no sign of Princess Charlotte, although guests included David and Samantha Cameron.

The colour being paraded on horse guards this year was the flag of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards.

The Prince of Wales Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards trooped the Queen’s colour presented to them by the monarch at Windsor Castle in April.

Trooping the Colour originated from traditional preparations for battle.

Colours, or flags, were carried, or “trooped”, down the rank so they 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 April 21, when she turned 89.

However, her official birthday is always celebrated nationally on the second Saturday in June when the weather is usually reckoned to be more predictable.
Source AAP

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