Meghan and Harry, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, returned from their short honeymoon to participate in the event and joined the senior members of the royal family including the queen, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla and Prince William and Kate Middleton with their older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Their new baby, Prince Louis, stayed home.
Trooping the Color, an annual ceremony originated early in the history of the United Kingdom as part of the preparations for battle by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies that "trooped colors" or flags as rallying points for soldiers to recognize their units, is also a celebratory parade to mark the queen's official birthday.
As every year, thousands of spectators flocked to London, lining the Mall hoping for a glimpse of any of the members of the glittering house of Windsor and to cheer and wave as they traveled in procession in luxurious, open, horse-drawn carriages from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back to the palace.
As the aerobatic display team, the Red Arrows, released plumes of red, white and blue smoke over the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the queen's great-grandchildren waved and yelled. This year, the 92-year-old monarch, whose actual birthday is April 21, was accompanied on the balcony by four generations of her dynasty.
The queen has never missed the occasion, which dates back to Charles II in the 17th century, with one exception: 1955, when it t was canceled due to a national rail strike.
Next week, Markle will join the queen for their first solo outing together in Cheshire. They will travel by the Royal Train the night before the engagement that includes several appearances. The overnight stay on the Royal Train is seen as a major milestone in the process of the royal family's acceptance of Markle as an active member.
|RAF Red Arrows during a fly-by over Buckingham Palace. Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images|
|The annual ceremony involved more than 1,400 guardsmen and cavalry Photo: Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images|
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