The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will begin with not one, but two appearances from Queen Elizabeth. On Thursday, Her Majesty, who is celebrating 70 years on the throne, will mark the start of the four-day extravaganza at Trooping of the Colour, where she’ll greet hundreds of thousands of supporters from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The historic moment will see the Queen take the salute from the balcony this year — supported by her cousin Prince Edward, Duke of Kent — in what will be a slightly different version of the traditional birthday parade.
The Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British sovereign for over 260 years. The balcony appearance is considered one of the most important events of the Jubilee weekend and marks the start of four days of celebrations which will culminate with a spectacular pageant through the capital on Sunday.
This is the first Trooping of the Colour to take place at Horse Guards Parade in central London since the lockdowns of 2019 (the previous two ceremonies have been scaled back versions at Windsor Castle) but because of the Queen’s episodic mobility problems, the 96-year-old monarch will not travel from Buckingham Palace by carriage to Horse Guards Parade. Instead, Prince Charles will take the salute at Whitehall for the first time in the Queen’s reign. The Queen will also receive a salute from the balcony.
Prince Charles will also inspect the Troops of the Household Division on Her Majesty’s behalf, joined by Prince William and Anne, The Princess Royal who will both be on horseback. Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and all of the Queen’s grandchildren will attend the ceremony. However, Prince Andrew will be absent having chosen to stay away in what one aide described as a “personal decision.”
It is hoped that Trooping will also be an opportunity to see all three of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s children, Prince George, 8, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, make their debut balcony appearance as a trio.
While the Queen will not ride in the carriage procession, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, The Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Sophie, Countess of Wessex and their children, Prince Richard and Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence are expected travel to Horse Guards Parade in State Landaus, where they will join other members of the royal family, including Harry and Meghan, to watch the Parade from the Major General’s Office.
While Buckingham Palace will only confirm the Queen’s attendance on the day, the monarch, who will return to Buckingham Palace for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic, is said to be determined to attend Trooping the Colour and the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s on Friday.
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