The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee kicked off four days of festivities Thursday morning, with thousands turning up along The Mall outside Kensington Palace in London to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years of service.
The Trooping the Colour parade, an annual event that celebrates the Queen’s birthday, saw working members of the Royal Family quickly parade by on horseback and in gold carriages before they appeared on the balcony at the palace to watch the Royal Air Force flypast.
The Guardian described the parade as “military pageantry at its best,” as marching bands, soldiers and a double gun salute paid tribute to the Queen.
This year marked a break in royal tradition, with Prince Charles taking the salute at the Horse Guards Parade, as mobility issues have prevented the Queen from carrying out some of her usual appearances.
The 96-year-old appeared to be in good spirits on the balcony, though, smiling ear-to-ear in front of the cheering, flag-waving crowd.
The Queen was joined on the balcony by Prince Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate and their three children, Prince Edward and Sophie, Princess Anne and her husband, Tim Laurence, and several other working relatives.
It was little Prince Louis, the youngest Cambridge and fifth in line to the throne, that stole the show with his impatient preschooler antics, covering his ears and making faces as the loud planes passed overhead.
His mom, the ever-doting Kate Middleton, was quick to correct her son’s behaviour and even appeared to prevent him from sucking his thumb at one point.
Adorably, the youngest prince appeared in a light blue sailor suit that once belonged to his dad. Prince William was seen sporting the same suit at the Trooping the Colour ceremony in 1985.
The Cambridge kids also stole hearts during the parade, riding in a gold carriage with Kate and Camilla, while Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne rode horseback along the route.
This year’s event marks the parade’s return to Buckingham Palace after two years of scaled-back events due to the pandemic.
It was also the first time the Cambridge family has attended the event since 2019.
Although Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were not invited to stand on the balcony as the Queen made the decision that only working royals would join her, cameras did spot the Duchess of Sussex watching from inside the palace.
There are plenty more events scheduled through Sunday to mark the Queen’s historic and unprecedented Platinum Jubilee celebrations, including a Service of Thanksgiving, a Platinum Jubilee Pageant, a concert and the Big Jubilee Lunch.
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Trooping the Colour parade to Buckingham Palace
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