During the Thursday, June 2, procession, British military officers marched past The Prince of Wales, 73, and the Duke of Cambridge, 39, on the parade route. The father-son pair wore traditional red military uniforms — with tall bearskin hats — as they took in the formalities on horseback. Anne, 71, also participated in the processions beside her eldest brother and nephew.
While Charles, William and Anne received the salute for the first time on behalf of the 96-year-old regent, it also marked the first time Elizabeth did not directly receive the salute herself.
Buckingham Palace previously announced on Wednesday, June 1, that the long-reigning monarch — who is celebrating her historic 70-year reign during this month’s Platinum Jubilee festivities — would skip the traditional carriage ride to the Horse Guards and the military inspection. It was confirmed at the time that Charles would take over his mother’s role alongside William and Anne.
Elizabeth stood on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Thursday’s Trooping the Colour alongside her cousin The Duke of Kent. The queen wore a pale blue outfit and a hat, along with a delicate brooch and pearl necklace.
Trooping the Colour is an annual parade to commemorate Elizabeth’s April 21 birthday, culminating in a military flypast. On Thursday, Elizabeth watched the air force’s planes from the palace balcony alongside Charles, Duchess Camilla, William, Duchess Kate, Anne, Sir Timothy Laurence and Prince Edward. William and Kate’s three children — Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4 — also joined their regal family from their perch, where Louis even shared a sweet moment with his great-grandmother as she pointed out the planes.
Thursday’s Trooping the Colour coincides with Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee as she celebrates 70 years as England’s monarch.
“It’s going to be great,” royal expert Nick Bullen exclusively told Us Weekly of the celebration last month. “The image of the queen on the balcony after Trooping the Colour on the first day of the full weekend — I think that will be a very poignant moment.”
Her Platinum Jubilee also includes a Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Epsom Downs Derby and a Platinum Party at the palace before culminating in a Big Jubilee Lunch and Platinum Jubilee Pageant.
“As I look ahead with a sense of hope and optimism to the year of my Platinum Jubilee, I am reminded of how much we can be thankful for,” the queen said in a February statement, celebrating her accession. “These last seven decades have seen extraordinary progress socially, technologically and culturally that have benefitted us all; and I am confident that the future will offer similar opportunities to us and especially to the younger generations in the United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth.”
She continued at the time: “I am fortunate to have had the steadfast and loving support of my family. I was blessed that in [my late husband] Prince Philip I had a partner willing to carry out the role of consort and unselfishly make the sacrifices that go with it. It is a role I saw my own mother perform during my father’s reign.”
Scroll below for more photos of Charles, William and Anne during the Horse Guards Parade: