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Queen attends Trooping the Colour

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

Joined by all the adult senior royals, she inspected 1,000 soldiers of the Household Division at Horse Guards Parade in central London.

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

Wearing a powder blue satin silk coat, dress and hat with navy trim, all by Angela Kelly, with a Brigade of Guards brooch, the Queen then rode alone in the carriage - the first time she has ridden in it for this ceremony - to inspect her troops.

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 an outfit similar in colour to that of the Queen, arrived in a coach alongside the Duchess of Cornwall, who was in peach.

There was no sign of Prince George of Cambridge.

The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards.

It is the first time since 2005 that the Grenadiers have not been on operations in Afghanistan, about to deploy to the country or recently returned from Helmand Province.

Four of the five Foot Guards regiments of the Household Division - the Welsh Guards, Grenadier Guards, Scots Guards and the Coldstream Guards - marched in the parade wearing their traditional bearskin hats and red tunics.

The Queen's actual birthday was on April 21, when she turned 88.

Major General Edward Smyth-Osbourne, commander of the Household Division, said: "This year the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is particularly poignant as we honour those who served, remember those who died and strive to ensure that the lessons learnt live with us forever.

"It is also the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Campaign and the subsequent liberation of Nijmegen, the action for which this year's Escort is named.

"Next year is the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, the battle at which the Grenadiers earned their name.

"The Household Division Regiments have played their part in the momentous events of the past and, I am confident, stand ready for whatever we face in the future."

Prince Harry's appearance at the Trooping ceremony comes months after he gave up his role as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner for a military desk job with responsibilities that include organising major ceremonial events involving the Army.

But he has not been involved in planning the Trooping the Colour event.

A huge crowd later descended on Buckingham Palace, where senior royals appeared on the balcony to cheers.

But there was again no sign of Prince George with his parents.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery provided a 41-gun salute in Green Park to mark the Queen's official birthday before the royals appeared for the traditional RAF flypast.

Among the 28 aircraft which buzzed over the royal residence were 13 different types, from Spitfires and a Lancaster bomber of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and a DC3 Dacota with D-Day stripes, days after the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. They were followed by modern Typhoon fighter jets, the Red Arrows aerobatic team and the RAF's largest transport aircraft, Voyager.


From Belfast Telegraph