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Why the Queen wore sunglasses on Buckingham Palace's balcony

The 96-year-old monarch is celebrating her 70-year reign

queen trooping the colour sunglasses balcony
Kate Thomas
Kate ThomasLifestyle Managing Editor
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The Queen looked regal in powder blue as her Platinum Jubilee celebrations began on Thursday with a special Trooping the Colour birthday parade.

BEST PHOTOS: The Queen supported by royal family as she celebrates Trooping the Colour

The 96-year-old monarch took to the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the RAF flypast alongside fellow senior royals including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Anne and Prince Charles, looking elegant in a custom-made Angela Kelly outfit. The two-piece, which featured shiny pearl and diamante scalloped beading around the collar and front trim, was set off with a pair of orange-tinted sunglasses – but do you know the reason why the Queen wears them?

WATCH: The Queen cheered by crowd on Buckingham Palace balcony

Yellow, amber, and orange shades enhance contrast for day to day activities and are recommended for people who have undergone cataract surgery thanks to their excellent UVA/UVB protection and glare control.

DISCOVER: The Queen shares very touching moment with Prince Louis during balcony flypast

Her Majesty had a cataract removal procedure at the private King Edward VII hospital in London in May 2018, and has been careful about wearing sunglasses in bright light ever since.

queen buckingham palace balcony jubilee trooping© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen looked regal in a custom-made Angela Kelly outfit

Cataracts are when the lens, a small transparent disc inside the eye, develops cloudy patches. These usually become bigger over time, causing blurry, misty vision and eventually blindness if left untreated.

A person can be more at risk of developing them if they have a family history of cataracts.


The Queen completed her outfit with her symbolic Brigade of Guards brooch, a regular feature at Trooping the Colour over the years.

The diamond piece features the emblems of the five household regiments (the Coldstream Guards, the Grenadier Guards, the Irish Guards, the Scots Guards, and the Welsh Guards).

queen prince louis trooping the colour© Photo: Getty Images

The Queen was joined by her great-grandchildren on the balcony

The Queen led her family in marking her annual birthday parade – a military spectacle that involved more than 1,200 officers and soldiers and 240 horses from the Household Division putting on a display of pageantry. Hundreds of army musicians also added to the festivities as the colour was trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards.

MORE: When will the Platinum Jubilee beacons be lit and where to find them near you

Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee celebrations continue over the next four days, with highlights including the Platinum Party at the Palace concert on Saturday night and Sunday's Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

Like this story? Sign up to our special Queen’s Platinum Jubilee newsletter to get latest news, photos and videos related to Her Majesty's special milestone.

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