Why Prince George and Princess Charlotte could miss this big royal milestone this week

The photo opportunities would have been amazing

Seeing the youngest members of the royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace is always one of the highlights of Trooping the Colour. With this year's public event now set to be a much more scaled-back version at Windsor Castle, it's unlikely that we will see the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, interacting with their cousins. While Kensingoton Palace has not confirmed any plans or the attendee list at Windsor, it seems George, six, and Charlotte, five, may also miss out on a big milestone this year too – their debut in the carriage procession.

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The Queen and her family members usually take part in the royal procession, travelling from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade, where the monarch takes the salute and the inspection. The royal carriages then proceed back up The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where the Firm then gather to watch the fly-past from the balcony.

William in 1987

George and Charlotte's father, Prince William, was just weeks away from his fifth birthday when he made his debut in the royal carriage procession in 1987. Looking smart in a pale blue suit, the young Prince sat opposite his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales and his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother. Similarly, Prince Harry was just a few months shy of his fifth birthday when he made his debut in the Trooping the Colour parade in 1989. He shared the carriage with his older brother, William, their mother Diana and the Queen Mother.  

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Harry made his carriage debut in 1989

It was thought that George and Charlotte might have made their debut in the royal procession last year when they were aged five and four respectively. However, mum Kate instead shared a carriage with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who made her first post-baby appearance, and the Duchess of Cornwall. It was a big day for George and Charlotte's younger brother, Prince Louis, who made his first balcony appearance and stole the show by waving enthusiastically at the fly-past. Here's hoping we'll see the Cambridge children take part in the royal procession in 2021!

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