Pomp, parade marks Queen Elizabeth II's official birthday

Britain's Queen Elizabeth rides in a carriage to attend the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony in London, Saturday, June 8, 2019. Trooping the Colour is the Queen's Birthday Parade and one of the nation's most impressive and iconic annual events attended by almost every member of the Royal Family. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Queen Elizabeth II is marking her official birthday with the Trooping the Color parade, a grand occasion and demonstration of Britain's ability to deploy pomp and circumstance of the highest order

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II marked her official birthday Saturday with the annual Trooping the Color parade, a traditional display of British pageantry at its very best.

About 1,400 soldiers in ceremonial scarlet coats and bearskin hats marched past the queen in a ceremony on Horse Guards Parade in Westminster. Royals taking part included Prince Charles, Prince William and his wife Kate, and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan — who appeared in her first public outing since giving birth to their son, Archie, to watch the birthday fly-past of military aircraft.

Baby Archie did not appear, but Prince Louis, the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, made his debut on Buckingham Palace's balcony. The 1-year-old waved frantically at the first of the helicopters in the show.

The queen marks her birthday twice a year — an official ceremony is always held in June, in hopes of holding the parade in good weather. Her actual birthday, on April 21, is usually celebrated with close family only.

Thousands of spectators lined the parade ground and gathered in nearby St. James's park to watch the spectacle in sparkling sunshine. They then walked down the road leading to Buckingham Palace, gathering at the gates to honor the monarch ahead of the fly-past, the punctuation mark of the annual event.

It's been a big week for the monarch. Demonstrating the close link between the monarchy and the armed forces, she was the center of ceremonies marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, the invasion of France that marked the beginning of the end of the Nazis.

But if the 93-year-old sovereign was tired, it didn't show. She waved and smiled as she emerged on the balcony and the crowd roared.

The ceremony originated from traditional preparations for battle. The colors — or flags — were "trooped," or carried down the lines of soldiers, so they could be seen and recognized in battle. The regimental flag being paraded this year is from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

You may also like these

A-Rod released by Yankees, who owe him $27...

Aug 13, 2016

Alex Rodriguez has been unconditionally released by the New York Yankees, ending his 12 years in...

Stellan Skarsgard proud of his sons for being...

Aug 15, 2016

Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard feels that his sons are talented actors, but it's more important to...

NBC audience soars with first full week of...

Aug 16, 2016

With blanket coverage of the Rio Games all last week, NBC had the ratings game all to itself in...

Brian Williams to anchor late campaign newscast...

Aug 16, 2016

MSNBC's Brian Williams is getting a regular time slot, at least for a couple of months

DeGeneres defends herself after posting photo...

Aug 17, 2016

Ellen DeGeneres says she's not racist after receiving backlash on social media for posting an...

Sign up now!