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Queen thrilled to have Duke back at her side for Trooping the Colour

18 JUNE 2012

With a smile that matched her summery ensemble, the Queen looked delighted to have her husband back by her side at the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Saturday.

It was Prince Philip’s first major public engagement since he was discharged from hospital following treatment for a bladder infection.

And he appeared in very good spirits as he joined the rest of the royal family at the annual ceremony, held to honour the Queen’s official birthday.

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The royal couple had been due to arrive at the parade in an open-topped carriage.

But in a move to protect the Prince from "unpredictable weather", they instead made their way in the covered Glass Coach, first used by the Queen and Duke on their wedding day in 1947.

Royal aides revealed that Philip – dressed in his uniform as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – was "determined" to accompany the Queen in her Diamond Jubilee year birthday celebrations.

Riding behind them, and accompanied by the Sovereign’s Escort of 200 horses from the Household Cavalry, were the Royal Colonels.

The Duke of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards and dressed in the tunic he wore to his wedding, proudly rode alongside his father, Prince Charles, who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards, Princess Anne, Colonel of the Blues and Riyals, and the Duke of Kent, Colonel of the Scots Guards.





Meanwhile, William's wife, the Duchess of Cambridge – elegant in a pale grey silk dress by Erdem and marching hat by Jane Corbett – joined his brother, Prince Harry, dressed in his Blues and Royal uniform, and the Duchess of Cornwall in a horse-drawn carriage as the grand procession made its way to the parade ground in Whitehall.

The Trooping of the Colour, is a traditional military display that originates from long-established battle preparations.

Colours – flags – were carried or 'trooped' down the ranks in order to be recognised by soldiers.

As Colonel-in-Chief, the Queen – wearing her Brigade of Guards brooch - began the parade by inspecting a line of foot guards before taking the royal salute, alongside Prince Philip.

Some 1,600 officers and soldiers took part in the parade, with more than 200 horses and around 290 musicians.



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Members of the Royal family, including the Duke of York, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and the Earl and Countess of Wessex, watched from a balcony in Horse Guards building.

Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha were among the guests.

After the parade, the royals returned to Buckingham Palace, cheered on by thousands of well-wishers who had gathered along the Mall.

And shortly before 1pm, the Queen and more than 30 members of her family appeared on the Palace's balcony to watch the traditional RAF fly-past.