The Duchess stood beside Prince William for the traditional salute. It was her first appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
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Soldiers dressed in spectacular ceremonial uniforms and bearskin hats provide Her Majesty with an appropriately impressive escort
Photo: AFP

13 JUNE 2005

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The Duchess of Cornwall has made her first appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Camilla joined her husband Prince Charles and the rest of the Royal Family for the annual Trooping of the Colour parade on Saturday afternoon.

Given that the event is staged to mark the Queen's official birthday, the 57-year-old Duchess might have been forgiven for feeling a little nervous. Her Majesty soon put everyone present at ease, though, by cracking a joke that left the entire family in stitches.

Camilla, dressed in an ivory suit and hat, had earlier joined her stepson Prince William and the Earl and Countess of Wessex in a horse-drawn carriage for the Trooping of the Colour procession. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, who was celebrating his 84th birthday, travelled in a open-top phaeton, while Prince Charles and the Princess Royal made their way down The Mall on horseback.

With thousands of well-wishers cheering from the sides of the road, the royals were escorted by 122 soldiers from the Household Cavalry, all dressed in their spectacular ceremonial uniforms. And the family was then treated to an equally impressive display of precision marching and horsemanship, as over 1,200 troops offered a traditional salute to the monarch.

Camilla's appearance at the high-profile ceremony came just as her position on the newly-revised Precedence List was revealed. The official document, which is drawn up by the Queen and determines seating arrangements at State events, places the Duchess fourth, after Princess Anne, Princess Alexandra and, of course, the monarch herself.

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