The Queen officially celebrated her 93rd birthday at Trooping the Colour on Saturday. Her Majesty was attending her 67th birthday parade as sovereign, a record that is unmatched by any other British monarch, but in a break with tradition, the Queen opted to enjoy the action from a closed carriage - the same one that Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank used for their wedding.
She chose to ride in the parade in the horse-drawn Scottish State Coach; in previous years, the Queen has chosen an open carriage. The monarch looked lovely in a pastel tweed dress in shades of pale pink, mint yellow and gold by Angela Kelly. She accessorised with a badge of The Brigade Of Guards and completed her regal look with a matching hat.
The Queen rode in the Scottish State Coach
It's believed she chose the Scottish State Coach in case of the wet weather. In 1969, a completely new top was made and the carriage was given large glass windows and two transparent panels in the roof. It is emblazoned with the royal arms for Scotland and the insignia of the Order of the Thistle, unlike all the other carriages, which bear the royal arms for England and the insignia of the Order of the Garter. It also has on the roof a model of the crown of Scotland. After their wedding in October of last year, Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack undertook a short carriage procession in Windsor in the same coach.
Her Majesty used to take part in the parade on horseback, just as her sons Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, her daughter Princess Anne and her grandson Prince William still do. She stopped riding at Trooping in 1987 and has since taken a carriage.
Princess Eugenie chose the carriage for her wedding last October
The procession starts at Buckingham Palace and travels along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again. When Her Majesty arrives at Horse Guards Parade, she is greeted by a royal salute and inspects the troops. The band also performs a musical troop as the regimental flag – or colour – is carried down the ranks. The Queen is then driven back to Buckingham Palace as the head of her Guards.
The ceremony is steeped in tradition and is the chance for the Queen to inspect her personal troops, the Household Division. More than 1,400 officers take part as well as 200 horses and over 400 musicians from ten bands. The day culminates in an RAF flypast, which the Queen and the royal family watch from the iconic Buckingham Palace balcony. It's also a chance for the youngest members of the family, who are not old enough to ride in the carriages, to take part in the celebrations.
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