QUEEN’S 90TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATED BY TROOPING THE COLOUR
By Tony Jones and Laura Elston, Press Association
The Queen’s 90th birthday has been celebrated with Trooping the Colour’s precision display of military pomp and pageantry.
The spectacle in Whitehall honoured the Queen’s enduring ties with her Armed Forces and officially marked her milestone anniversary.
Over the weekend the nation is celebrating the monarch’s long and rich life that has seen her become the longest reigning and oldest monarch in British history.
Cheers from the public in the Mall greeted the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s arrival on Horse Guards Parade – Henry VIII’s former jousting yard – where an audience of thousands were seated in stands.
The crowds were treated to the sight of the royal couple in a vintage carriage, Queen Victoria’s 1842 ivory-mounted phaeton, and the imposing presence of The Sovereign’s Escort, mounted troops from the Life Guards and Blues and Royals.
The procession included the royal colonels on horseback – the Prince of Wales, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, Princess Royal, Colonel of the Blues and Royals, and the Duke of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards.
On the parade ground in their famous scarlet tunics and bearskins were the Coldstream, Grenadier and Scots Guards – while the Irish Guards lined the Queen’s processional route from Buckingham Palace.
Watching from the Duke of Wellington’s old office that overlooks Horse Guards were members of the Royal Family including the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cambridge who had arrived together in a carriage.
Kate looked chic in an Alexander McQueen coat and hat by Philip Treacy while Harry was dressed in his military uniform.
They were joined by the Duke of York and his daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.
Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha had made the short trip from neighbouring 10 Downing Street to join the spectators.
Trooping the Colour is an important social occasion for the Guardsmen taking part, and gives their wives, girlfriends, parents and other 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.
They all rose from their seats as a mark of respect as the Queen’s carriage passed by, with the monarch wearing a vibrant green coat and dress by Stewart Parvin and a matching hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan, while Philip, Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, wore a bearskin and scarlet tunic.
On her shoulder the head of state wore the Brigade of Guards brooch.