By KATIE NICHOLL
Child's play: Lady Helen Taylor's daughters Estella, six, left, and eight-year-old Eloise are clearly captivated as they talk to Kate at the Palace
The Duchess herself appeared to find the event nearly as exciting as the children did, at one point seemingly having a fit of the giggles as she stood on the Buckingham Palace balcony alongside her new husband.
For Prince William too, yesterday’s ceremony marked a first – the first time he had taken part in the parade on horseback.
As The Mail on Sunday revealed he would do weeks ago, William escorted the Queen on a grey horse called Wellesley.
Last night friends of the 28-year-old Royal said he had been more nervous ahead of the ceremony than his new wife, who seemed quite at home as she rode in a horsedrawn barouche.
All eyes were on the Duchess of Cambridge at her first Trooping the Colour yesterday, but Kate herself seemed more interested in the youngsters present.
She made a point of spending time with the children of her new Royal relatives, talking happily with them as the Queen’s official birthday parade and fly-past took place.
Kate’s apparent mothering instinct was clear as she focused her attention on Lady Helen Taylor’s daughters Eloise, eight, and Estella, six, and Viscount Linley’s daughter Margarita, nine, who had been one of her bridesmaids.
Engrossed: The new Duchess of Cambridge with Viscount Linley's daughter Margarita and Estrella
William, in a bearskin which at one point threatened to slip down his face, wore the scarlet Irish Guards uniform he was married in.
The Prince, Colonel of the Irish Guards, rode with Prince Charles, who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards, Princess Anne, Colonel of the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals, and the Duke of Kent, Colonel of the Scots Guards.
Prince Edward, who was not in the parade, is Honorary Colonel of the London Regiment, part of the Territorial Army, and wore the uniform of its senior company, London Scottish.
Oops! Sophie Wessex stumbles on the balcony before turning it into a comedy moment to entertain daughter Lady Louise and the other youngsters. Husband Prince Edward remains unmoved
The parade marks the Queen’s official birthday on June 11 and takes place on Horse Guards Parade, which was lined with wellwishers.
The Queen, who is marking her 85th birthday, arrived with Prince Philip, who celebrated his 90th birthday on Friday.
Kate, who reportedly has an allergy to horses, watched with other Royals from the Horse Guards building. She wore a double-breasted fitted ivory jacket and dress, with a dramatic black hat believed to be from Wiltshire milliner Vivien Sheriff.
Matching style: Camilla and Kate on their way back from Trooping the Colour
After the parade, she made her way to Buckingham Palace for the fly-past accompanied by the Duchess of Cornwall. Kate’s outfit complemented Camilla’s, an Ana Valentine cream chiffon dress under a buttermilk silk coat.
A few hours later, Kate, joined by sister Pippa, was in Lambourn, Berkshire, for the wedding of her friend Sam Waley-Cohen.
She sported the same hat she had worn for Trooping the Colour, teamed with a black-and-white patterned silk cocktail dress by Diane Von Furstenberg, which she was last seen wearing in May 2007.
Something old: In the afternoon Kate, in a silk cocktail dress she last wore in May 2007, joins sister Pippa, left, for the wedding of her friend Sam Waley-Cohen
For the first time: Prince William - The Duke of Cambridge - has made his first appearance at the Trooping of the Colour at Horse Guards Parade in Central London
Birthday couple: The event celebrates the Queen's official birthday, while Prince Philip celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday
Stylish: Kate is finely turned out in a white jacket and black hat and following her first official engagement since the wedding this week, is clearly enjoying her duties
Cheeky smirk: Prince Harry sat opposite Kate in the coach on the way to the ceremony
Pomp and ceremony: The troops of the Household Division run through their formations ate Horse Guards Parade
The Royal jester: Prince William shares a joke with Kate on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Things are looking up: The Royal family turn their eyes to the sky to watch the flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace
Fast jets: The Red Arrows were on display, trailing smoke in red white and blue, as well as Tornado GR4s and Typhoons