Every year on the second Saturday in June, the royal family gathers in London for the official celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday. Even though she was actually born in April, the tradition of celebrating a “second birthday” dates back to King George II. According to the royal family’s official website, “Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark The Queen’s official birthday.” The celebration concludes with the family gathering on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the RAF flyover. This year, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex made her first appearance alongside her husband, Prince Harry, while Prince Charles, Prince William, and Princess Anne took to horseback for their roles as royal colonels. The Duchess of Cambridge and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, matching in blue, rode in a carriage as well. Click through for every image from the special day.
The Queen smiles as her official birthday celebrations commence.
Prince Charles rode horseback for his role as royal colonel.
As did Princess Anne…
And Prince William.
A Sikh guardsman became the first to march in a turban at the Trooping the Colour.
The Duchess of Sussex made her first appearance alongside Prince Harry, who did not march on horseback as he is not a royal colonel.
The Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge matched in light blue.
And gave a wave to the crowds.
The Duchess of Cambridge looks thrilled!
Princess Beatrice and Sophie, Countess of Wessex wave to the crowds.
Lady Louise Windsor smiles alongside her cousin, Princess Beatrice. She is the daughter of Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Princess Eugenie sat next to Sophie, Countess of Wessex for the big day.
The Queen takes her seat as the celebrations begin.
The Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge share a moment before heading onto the balcony for the RAF flyover. Isla Phillips, granddaughter of Princess Anne, can also be spotted peering out at the crowds.
The family begins to gather on the balcony for the flyover.
This is the Duchess of Sussex’s first time on the balcony for an official event.
Even the Queen couldn’t contain her enthusiasm for the flyover!
Savannah Phillips stole the show with her enthusiasm.
And comforted her cousin, Princess Charlotte, after she fell.
The family gives one final wave.
A lone fox makes an unexpected appearance at the celebration.
The celebration takes place at the Horse Guards Parade in central London.
The procession makes its way through the streets of London.
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