Today, Trooping the Colour was back for Charles’ first Trooping as Monarch – but also the first Trooping for a King since 1951.
The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal and The Duke of Edinburgh were astride horses as Colonels of the Welsh Guards, Blues and Royals and London Guards respectively, participating in the ceremony, whilst The King was riding as Colonel in the Chief of the Household Division. It is the first time Prince Edward has ridden on horseback during these celebrations.
This year’s Trooping will mark the first time that a reigning Monarch has ridden at Trooping since 1986, when Elizabeth II was on horseback for the parade.
It was also a smaller royal contingent out today, with only one carriage in the main parade.
1400 soldiers participated in the manoeuvres and music, alongside 500 horses, while tens of thousands of people witnessed the event on the Mall, and from ticketed seats in the stands around Buckingham Palace.
Also in today’s Parade was Juno, The Household Cavalry’s newest Drum Horse, whom Queen Camilla had the honour of officially naming earlier this week, by presenting the horse with a headcollar featuring a brass name plaque.
The newly formed London Guards, the Army Reserve battalion of the Guards Division, acted as street liners to allow for a bigger parade than in recent years.
This year, it was the Welsh Guards trooping their Colour. The Guards were formed in 1915 by order of King George V, with Prince William becoming their Colonel earlier this year.
Wales featured heavily during this year’s Trooping, with new pieces of music composed by members of the Band of the Welsh Guards for the occasion. One new piece of music was written by Gareth Trott, a soldier in the Welsh Guards, and another by Major Lauren Petritz-Watts, who has become the first female Army musician to have her music performed during the Sovereign’s birthday parade.
The two drum horses on parade, Apollo and Willa Rose, both come from Dyfed shire horse farm in Wales.
The traditional flypast took place at 1 o’clock, where the Red Arrows left their iconic red, white and blue trails and the typhoons roaring through the skies.
This year saw an extended Birthday Flypast take place, where we saw aircraft including Chinook Puma, Typhoon, Voyager A400M and C-17. Aircraft from all three Armed Services took part. There was supposed to be an extended Flypast for the Coronation in May, however, it had to be cut short due to bad weather.
18 typhoons formed ‘CR’ in the air to mark the new King, to applause and awe from the palace balcony. This was followed shortly after by the Red Arrows and their coloured plumes of smoke.
Noticeably, only working Royals were on the balcony, and not the wider family as Elizabeth II used to invite.
Following Prince Louis’ antics on the balcony during last year’s Trooping, the youngster did not disappoint – holding his hands over his ears, saluting the crowds, and giving enthusiastic gestures as the planes flew by.
Who was in which carriage?
The Queen was accompanied by The Princess of Wales, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, following behind the parade of Royals on horseback.
The Duchess of Edinburgh rode with Sir Tim Lawrence, while The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester followed behind, with The Duke of Kent travelling in a car.
The Queen and Princess of Wales sat on a dais for the parade, with the remaining Royals heading to the Duke of Wellington’s office balcony to view.
Uniforms & Outfits
Charles wore the tunic of the Guard of Honour Order, the Welsh Guards, since it was this regiment trooping their colour today. The uniform featured the cypher of Elizabeth II, as his predecessor, following tradition.
Alongside the Garter and Thistle Stars, The King had the Honourable Order of the Bath, and wore Prince Philip’s Royal Victorian Order.
Her Majesty wore a red dress, created by taking inspiration from the Grenadier Guards uniform with epaulettes and the grenadier cypher, with the rank insignia of a full colonel. The hat by Philip Treacy was a nod to the bearskin of the Household Divisions. Camilla was seen wearing the Grenadier Guards badge that had belonged to Elizabeth II.
As Colonel of the Welsh, Blues and Royals and the London Guards respectively, The Prince of Wales, The Princes Royal and The Duke of Edinburgh were seen wearing their ceremonial dress uniforms. All three wore their Garter sashes and Stars, along side their Gold, Diamond, and Platinum Jubilee medals from the late Queen, and aiguilettes as Personal Aides-de-Camp to His Majesty.
Anne and William additionally wore their Thistle Stars, which denote their membership of the order.
The Duke of Kent was present, if not much seen, wearing his ceremonial uniform as Colonel of the Scots Guards, alongside Garter Star.
In vivid green, likely a nod to the Irish Guards – her new colonelship – The Princess of Wales wore Andrew Gn with a hat from Philip Treacy, with her Irish Shamrock brooch.
The Duchess of Edinburgh wore a cream dress from Beulah, and a hat by Jane Taylor, her go-to milliner.