Today (9th June 2018) Meghan Markle attended her first Trooping the Colour ceremony since joining the Royal Family less than a month after marrying Prince Harry at Windsor Castle.
Trooping the Colour is an annual military parade held to mark the Queen’s official birthday. The celebrations take place at Horse Guards Parade in London. Over 1,000 officers, 200 horses and 400 musicians take part in the parade, which is the textbook definition of “pomp and pageantry”.
Here’s what happens during the ceremony:
During the ceremony, The Queen is greeted by a Royal salute and carries out an inspection of the troops. After the massed bands have performed a musical ‘troop’, the escorted Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks. The Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry then march past Her Majesty, and The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, rank past. The Queen rides in a carriage back to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards, before taking the salute at the Palace from a dais. The troops then return to barracks. Her Majesty then joins other members of the Royal Family on the palace balcony for a fly-past by the Royal Air Force. — householddivision.org.uk
The Queen has attended the parade and taken the salute every year since her coronation in 1963 (apart from 1955 when there was a national rail strike). The tradition itself dates back to 1748. You can read more about the history of Trooping the Colour on this page.
The Queen’s actual birthday is April 21 but she officially celebrates a second birthday in June, which is marked by the Trooping the Colour ceremony. The double birthday tradition began 250 years ago:
In the past, official celebrations to mark a King or Queen’s birthday in the UK have been held on a day that isn’t their actual birthday:
The double birthday tradition was started more than 250 years ago by King George II in 1748.
He was born in November, which is not known in the UK for its good weather.
But King George wanted it to be possible to have a big public celebration – and November wasn’t the time do it.
So, given that his actual birthday wouldn’t be a good time of year for a birthday parade, he decided to combine it with an annual military parade in the summer, when the weather would hopefully be nice.
And so this is where the tradition of an official, public summer birthday for the monarch began! — BBC
According to reports, the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned from their honeymoon just a few days ago. The is the couple’s first joint public appearance since the garden party they attended together in May.
According to the Mirror, a royal source said: “There will be a huge interest in seeing the newlyweds after the mage of their wedding”.
Meghan and Harry ride together in a carriage procession on their way back to Buckingham Palace.
Later today, Meghan and Harry will join other members of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch the RAF flypast and wave to the gathered crowds.
- Dress: Carolina Herrera
- Hat: Philip Treacy
UPDATES TO FOLLOW: I’m attending a friend’s wedding today and then going on my own honeymoon tomorrow! So I’ll update this page when I can. Thank you for baring with me!