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Charlotte's balcony debut caps day of pageantry for Queen's birthday

Published 11/06/2016

The nation has wished the Queen happy birthday with thousands turning out to celebrate the monarch's milestone as Princess Charlotte made her first Buckingham Palace balcony appearance.

Three cheers rang out across The Mall for the Queen after she marked her 90th birthday with the traditional pomp and pageantry of the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

Surrounded by some 45 members of her family the monarch smiled and waved from the balcony as she acknowledged the good wishes of the crowds which were larger than in previous years.

Her 13-month-old great-granddaughter Charlotte - sucking on a finger to combat apparent teething - took the event in her stride and acknowledged the traditional flypast of historic and modern aircraft by putting one hand over an ear as she was held by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Wave after wave of military aircraft - from a Spitfire and Hurricane, made famous during the Battle of Britain, to modern fighters like the Typhoon - roared overhead with the Red Arrows trailing red, white and blue smoke to end the display.

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry stood by the Queen who was the centre of attention in her neon green ensemble.

Her life is being celebrated this weekend as the nation pays tribute to Britain's longest reigning and oldest sovereign with formal ceremonies and carnival street parties.

After yesterday's poignant St Paul's Cathedral service of thanksgiving for the Queen's life, the Trooping the Colour ceremony was all precision displays of formation marching by the immaculately turned out troops.

Thousands of forces' families sat in stands around Horse Guards Parade - Henry VIII's former jousting yard - and watched the Queen inspect the troops from her vintage carriage as the three royal colonels - Charles, Anne and William - wearing their military uniforms followed on horseback.

On parade was the long line of guardsmen who not only take part in major ceremonial occasions like Trooping the Colour but are fighting soldiers. Inevitably, like most years, a few collapsed during the ceremony but were attended to.

Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Patron's Lunch in The Mall, central London in honour of the her 90th birthday, in an open topped Range Rover. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Patron's Lunch in The Mall, central London in honour of the her 90th birthday, in an open topped Range Rover. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Cambridge in the Royal Box for the Patron's Lunch in The Mall, central London, in honour of the Queen's 90th birthday. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at the Patron's Lunch in The Mall, central London in honour of the her 90th birthday, in an open topped Range Rover. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrive at the Patron's Lunch in The Mall, central London in honour of the her 90th birthday, in an open topped Range Rover. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Ten thousand picnicking revellers are expected to celebrate the Queen's birthday on The Mall beneath storm clouds
A large crowd sit in St James's Park and watch Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh on big TV screens, as they drive down The Mall meeting people attending the Patrons Lunch to honour her 90th birthday. John Stillwell/PA Wire
Kathy Martin, John Loughrey, Terry Hutt, and Theresa Iredale sit in St James's Park, London and watch the Patrons Lunch on big TV screens, as members of the Royal family walk down The Mall. John Stillwell/PA Wire
a guest in The Mall during The Patron's Lunch celebrations for The Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall in London. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images/The Patron's Lunch/PA Wir
The Mall during The Patron's Lunch celebrations for The Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall in London. Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images/The Patron's Lunch/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at the Patron's Lunch in The Mall, central London in honour of the her 90th birthday, in an open topped Range Rover. Toby Melville/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh arrive at the Patron's Lunch in The Mall, central London in honour of the her 90th birthday, in an open topped Range Rover. Yui Mok/PA Wire
Members of the Household Division during the Colonel's Review, the final rehearsal of the Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, in Horse Guards Parade central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh leaving Buckingham Palace in central London to view the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrates her official birthday today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 11, 2016. The Colour being paraded is the flag of Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards - the unit last performed this special role in 2007. See PA story ROYAL Birthday. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry sit in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour, this year marking the Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall on June 11, 2016 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Prince Andrew, Duke of York sit in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour, this year marking the Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall on June 11, 2016 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Prince Andrew, Duke of York sit in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour, this year marking the Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall on June 11, 2016 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex sit in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour, this year marking the Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall on June 11, 2016 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Britain's Princess Beatrice of York (L), Britain's Princess Eugenie of York and Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York (R) travel in a horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace on their way to Horse Guards Parade for the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 11, 2016. Trooping The Colour and the fly-past are part of a weekend of events to celebrate the Queen's official 90th birthday. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex sit in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour, this year marking the Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall on June 11, 2016 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex sit in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour, this year marking the Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall on June 11, 2016 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (L), Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Britain's Prince Harry (R) travel in a horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace on their way to Horse Guards Parade for the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 11, 2016. Trooping The Colour and the fly-past are part of a weekend of events to celebrate the Queen's official 90th birthday. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh sit in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour, this year marking the Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall on June 11, 2016 in London, England. The ceremony is Queen Elizabeth II's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images)
Crowds wait on the edge of Green Park near to Buckingham Palace ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 11, 2016. Trooping The Colour and the fly-past are part of a weekend of events to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A man takes a picture with his mobile phone with a 'queen' case as he waits for the royal procession to leave Buckingham Palace in central London to view the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as Her Majesty celebrates her official birthday today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 11, 2016. The Colour being paraded is the flag of Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards - the unit last performed this special role in 2007. See PA story ROYAL Birthday. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Members of the Coldstream Guards march past Buckingham Palace ahead of the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 11, 2016. Trooping The Colour and the fly-past are part of a weekend of events to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Armed police on patrol before the royal procession make its way down The Mall from Buckingham Palace, central London to Horse Guards Parade for the Trooping the Colour ceremony as the Queen celebrates her official birthday today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 11, 2016. The procession will be accompanied by a Sovereign's Escort of the Household Cavalry, made up of Life Guards and Blues and Royals, in their silver and gold breastplates and plumed helmets. The Colour being paraded is the flag of Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards - the unit last performed this special role in 2007. See PA story ROYAL Birthday. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Soldiers marching along The Mall in central London ahead of the Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade as the Queen celebrates her official birthday today. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 11, 2016. The Colour being paraded is the flag of Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards - the unit last performed this special role in 2007. See PA story ROYAL Birthday. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
Members of the Household Division during the Colonel's Review, the final rehearsal of the Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, in Horse Guards Parade central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Members of the Household Division during the Colonel's Review, the final rehearsal of the Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, in Horse Guards Parade central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Members of the Household Division during the Colonel's Review, the final rehearsal of the Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, in Horse Guards Parade central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Members of the Household Division during the Colonel's Review, the final rehearsal of the Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, in Horse Guards Parade central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Members of the Household Division during the Colonel's Review, the final rehearsal of the Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, in Horse Guards Parade central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Members of the Household Division during the Colonel's Review, the final rehearsal of the Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, in Horse Guards Parade central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday June 4, 2016. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire
Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (L), Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Britain's Prince Harry (R) travel in a horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace on their way to Horse Guards Parade for the Queen's Birthday Parade, 'Trooping the Colour', in London on June 11, 2016. Trooping The Colour and the fly-past are part of a weekend of events to celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday. / AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLISJUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

The colour of Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards was paraded past the troops, an ancient tradition thought to originate from the practice of marching banners past soldiers so they could identify the flag they were fighting under.

During George II's reign it was ordered in 1748 that the ceremony of Trooping the Colour should mark the official birthday of the sovereign.

The Royal Family watched the ceremony unfold from the Duke of Wellington's old office which overlooks Horse Guards and was directly behind the Queen's dais where she sat with Philip.

The event also featured Britain's Got Talent winner and Household Cavalry bandsman Richard Jones, whose skills as a magician saw him triumph in the popular show.

He played the trombone during the ceremony while on horseback and among the audience of thousands watching the spectacle was Second World War veteran Fergus Anckorn, 97, whose story was the focus of the serviceman's magic trick that earned him the title.

Mr Anckorn, was a prisoner of war and forced to work on the Burma railway and the infamous bridge on the River Kwai. He performed magic tricks for his captors but used their food so he could supplement his meagre diet.

The 97-year-old joked about the Queen's birthday: "I remember her being born, it was common knowledge where I grew up in Kent.''

The former soldier was left impressed by his first experience of a Trooping the Colour ceremony: ''It was absolutely brilliant, I've taken part in some of these big parades and it is an enormous amount of hard work and when they all do it together it's just unbelievable.

''Think of all the rehearsing and the square bashing.''

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