Trooping the Colour is always a special day on the royal calendar - and even more so this year - as it marked the Duchess of Cambridge's first official appearance since the birth of Princess Charlotte six weeks ago.
The Duchess travelled in the horse-drawn No 1 Barouche carriage with Prince Harry and the Duchess of Cornwall for the ceremony.
The group waved and smiled at well-wishers.
Although the Queen's birthday is 21 April, it has long been tradition to celebrate the Sovereign's birthday publicly on a day in June, when good weather is more likely. Her Majesty has attended Trooping the Colour every year since 1947 except in 1955 when a national rail strike cancelled the event.
On horseback were Prince William, who is Colonel of the Irish Guards, Prince Charles, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, and the Princess Royal, Colonel of the Blues and Royals. They rode on aptly named horses - Wellesley, George and Elizabeth.
And look who spotted his parents from the Buckingham Palace window. Yes, Prince George attended his first Trooping the Colour with Nanny Maria :)
I think the little prince takes after his uncle. A look at one of Harry's most memorable Trooping appearances :)
The background of the prestigious annual event? Trooping the Colour actually originated from traditional preparations for battle. Colours, or flags were trooped down the rank so it could be seen by the soldiers. In 1748, it was announced the parade would also mark the Sovereign's official birthday.
|The Army in London|
The event was meticulously planned with over 1,400 officers and men on parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and corps of drums marched and played as one. Some 113 words of command are given by the officer in command of the parade. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along the Mall to the Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.
|The Army in London|
At precisely 12.52 pm, gun salutes were fired across the capital: the Honourable Artillery Company fired from the Tower of London and the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired from Green Park.
|The Army in London|
The Royal family assembled on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the Royal Air Force perform a flypast.
As one would expect, Prince George very much stole the show :)
Does Prince George's outfit look familiar? He wore the same blue outfit with cream lace worn by Prince William for his first Trooping appearance in 1984. I thought it a lovely touch and very fitting for the nature of the day.
More from Kensington Royal Twitter Feed:
|Kensington Royal Twitter Feed|
Kate said to George "Do a wave, do a wave".
A lovely shot of William and George.
Other royals in attendance included the Duke of York , Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, the Duke of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. The Earl and Countess of Wessex were noticeably absent, as they're representing the Queen at the wedding of Prince Carl Philip of Sweden to Miss Sofia Hellqvist.
The Royal Air Force shared a graphic of the line-up for the flypast via their Twitter Feed.
|Royal Air Force Twitter Feed|
The spectacular flypast.
|British Monarchy Twitter Feed|
It is the fifth consecutive year Kate has attended the event. In 2011, the Duchess chose Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen and in 2012 she opted for a bespoke Erdem piece.
In 2013 and 2014, she chose looks by McQueen.
This year the Duchess selected a new designer for the occasion, choosing the Catherine Walker 'Astrid' coatdress (with thanks to WWKD). The garment features a contemporary pencil line, neat rounded collar, and is sharply tailored in a crisp textured woven ivory and ice blue silk.
A look at the print. Do you like it?
Anna from My Small Obsessions quickly identified Kate's hat as the Lock & Co Marisabel Hat. It retails for £895 and comes in several colourways. Below we see the piece in "coffee".
|Lock & Co|
'A piece that has been hand crafted by Sylvia Fletcher, Lock & Co.'s leading milliner. The hat has been sculpted using sinamay and then finished with a curled feather in a matching tone.'
A closer look at Kate's hat.
Kate accessorised with her unidentified aquamarine earrings (with another thank you to the amazing Anna).
It was lovely see Kate today! The Duchess looked fatigued and perhaps not her usual self (with two under two that's perfectly understandable). We didn't see the same quality of photographs from the balcony as with previous years and this was largely due to the fact Kate was standing behind The Queen and not beside William. On another note, it was a real treat to see Prince George again:)
Order of the Garter takes place on Monday and one imagines there's a strong possibility the Duchess will be present. For those interested in the Swedish royal wedding, we'll be covering it over at The Royal Digest this evening :)