Saturday, June 11, 2011

Prince William takes part in his first Trooping the Colour as The Duke of Cambridge... and Kate makes her debut too

By Daily Mail Reporter

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

The Duchess of Cambridge watched with pride today as her husband took part in one of the world's greatest spectacles of pageantry and pomp in honour of the Queen.

The Trooping the Colour ceremony is the monarch's official birthday parade but all eyes were on the new Duke and Duchess playing prominent roles in the event for the first time.

Amid the splendour of the military display William rode faultlessly on his grey charger while Kate took her place with other members of the Royal Family as a spectator.

Birthday couple: The event celebrates the Queen's official birthday, while Prince Philip celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday

Part of the family: Kate was once again centre of attention despite a glittering array of Royals

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

For decades the Queen has been the focus of the ceremony staged every June in London's historic Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall.

This year the event marked the 85th birthday of the Sovereign who has reigned over the country since 1952.

The Duchess reprised her royal wedding carriage procession of less than six weeks ago riding in a horse drawn Barouche with Prince Harry - in his Blues and Royals uniform and Army Air Corps blue beret - Duchess of Cornwall and Duke of York.

The group were cheered loudly by thousands of well wishers as they travelled from Buckingham Palace along The Mall and into Horse Guards Parade.

Birthday girl: Queen Elizabeth leaves Buckingham Palace in a carriage ahead of the parade, which she has done every year of her reign except 1955

The Royal jester: Prince William shares a joke with Kate on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

All smiles: Kate can't hide her delight as she takes a carriage to Horse Guards Parade to watch Prince William on his first official duty at the event

On duty: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, wore a blue sash - the Order of the Garter - over his scarlet tunic

Royal riders: Prince William, Prince Charles, the Duke of Kent and Princess Anne riding Queen's Escort

Kate, who is fast becoming a fashion icon, was dressed in an ivory jacket and an elaborate black hat and as she travelled in the carriage. She had a tartan quilt over her knees as did Camilla.

Amongst the guests were the Earl and Countess of Wessex, their seven-year-old daughter Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, Princess Eugenie and Prime Minister David Cameron.

The precision marching by hundreds of Guardsmen taking part was also enjoyed by their families and friends who watched from stands overlooking the parade ground.

William took part in the ceremony as he is now Colonel of the Irish Guards and wore the famous scarlet tunic of his new regiment and bearskin hat.

He rode the charger Wellesley aged only seven but mature enough to take centre stage with the other prominent Household Division horses.

The Queen arrived in an Ivory Mounted Phaeton with the Duke of Edinburgh, who celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday and was dressed in uniform as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.

As she travelled in her carriage behind her on horseback and wearing ceremonial military uniform were the Prince of Wales, Colonel Welsh Guards, the Duke of Kent, Colonel Scots Guards, the

Princess Royal, Colonel of the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals and William in his new role.

They were accompanied by a Sovereign's Escort formed of soldiers from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in their shining breastplates and plumed helmets and the Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry.

The Monarch first took the royal salute in 1951, when she deputised for her ill father George VI, and has continued receiving the mark of respect every year except 1955 when there was a national rail strike.

Escort: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are followed by Princess Anne and the Duke of Kent - she has taken a carriage to the ceremony since 1986

Things are looking up: The Royal family turn their eyes to the sky to watch the flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Flypast: The arrival of the classic aircraft, followed by fast jets proved a highlight of the day for the cheering crowds and the clearly delighted Royals

The Queen's first duty was to inspect the long line of troops - wearing their famous red tunics and bearskins - from four of the five Foot Guards regiments of the Household Division taking part - the Welsh, Grenadier, Scots and Coldstream Guards.

Kate and the other royals watched the historic ceremony from the former office of the Duke of Wellington in Horse Guards building, now used by the Major-General commanding the Household Division.

The four royal Colonels rode behind the Queen as she travelled alone in the phaeton past the long lines of servicemen who are fighting soldiers when not performing ceremonial duties.

William rode at the end of the line with his father Charles on his left and looked assured as he handled the large charger.

Father and son: Prince William and Prince Charles ride together to Horse Guards Parade

Debut: The Duchess of Cornwall (left) and the Duchess of Cambridge left Buckingham Palace by horse drawn carriage with Prince Harry and Prince Andrew

Crowd puller: Thousands of people walk towards Buckingham Palace after the ceremony at Horse Guards Parade

The Queen has more experience of Trooping the Colour than anyone else on the parade ground and inspected the guardsmen with a keen eye.

The ceremony is also an important social occasion for the Guardsmen taking part, and gives their wives, girlfriends, and relatives the chance to celebrate the achievements of the young men and enjoy the spectacle.

Some spectators in the stands which lined the parade ground were dressed in morning suits or smart suits, while many women wore summer dresses with wide brimmed hats.

The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.

Trooping the Colour originated from traditional preparations for battle.

Colours, or flags, were carried, or "trooped", down the ranks so that it could be seen and recognised by the soldiers as they were used as rallying points in the confusion of fighting.

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 85.

Ladies day: Sophie, the Countess of Wessex (third from left) tripped as she walked out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace with Camilla

Patriotic family: These three - wearing two England shirts and a Union flag dress between them - stand on a railing to get a better view

Can you see anything? A tourist finds herself stood alongside three and Guardsmen on a park bench as they try to find a better vantage point for the ceremony

Snap happy: The ceremony has been a beacon for tourists who flocked to take photographs of the the Royals

So proud: The Duchess of Cambridge watches William carry out his ceremonial duties from a window balcony

Dressed in a pale blue coat and matching hat, she stood with Philip as the ceremonial flag was paraded past her followed by line after line of Guardsmen, first in slow time then quick as the Massed Bands played.

The duty of carrying the colour was given to Lieutenant Tom Ogilvy, 26, from Stirling who has been in the Scots Guards for two years.

During the ceremony Kate and Camilla could be seen in a window of Wellington's former office as they watched the ceremony.

Later the Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry played as the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals and Life Guards rode past the Queen first in quick time then in slow.

As they passed for the second time, the horses' hoofs kicked up the gravel that covered parade ground.

When the Queen and the Duke left in their carriage they were applauded and cheered by the spectators and those lining the Mall as they made their way back to Buckingham Palace for the traditional balcony appearance to watch a flypast of military aircraft.

The celebrations ended with the traditional fly-past over the Palace.

The aerial parade of more than 20 aircraft featured vintage machines and modern fighters.

The Queen watched the events from the royal residence's balcony with other senior royals including Charles and Camilla, Kate and William, Harry, Eugenie and Edward and Sophie.

Fantastic spectacle: The Queen, sat in open-topped carriage at the centre, takes in the wonderful display of pageantry

Centre of attention: The Queen returns to Buckingham Palace surrounded by the her family, soldiers and full band

Thousands of well-wishers lined up to watch the fly-past spectacle that roared overhead for a number of minutes.

The royal women impressed in their outfits with Kate dressed in a fitted double breasted white jacket while Camilla had a cream jacket with a matching wide brimmed hat and a large pearl choker.

Eugenie had a black jacket with white details and a matching hat with a white bow.

The display was led by a Chinook and two Puma helicopters and was soon followed by the Battle of Britain memorial flight's Lancaster in formation with a Spitfire and a Hurricane.

Other aircraft taking part included two Tornado GR4s, two Eurofighter Typhoons - the finale saw the Red Arrows display team fly overhead trailing red, white and blue smoke.

On the march: Guardsmen parade along the Mall before the ceremony in which more than 1,300 soldiers are taking part

Birds eye view: Late (top right) watches the ceremony from a balcony above the Queen and Prince Philip

Anticipation: The scene at Horse Guards Parade in Central London as the soldiers and crowd awaited the arrival of the Queen


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