ROYALS

Trooping The Colour’s best moments over the years in pictures

From the balcony to the carriage rides.
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Trooping The Colour, which dates back to the 17th century, involves infantry troops marching slowly with their colours to distinguish one regiment from another.

Since 1748, the British military occasion has taken place on the same day as the official birthday of the British monarch, which has been King Charles III since 8 September 2022.

The event is usually held on a Saturday in June at Horse Guards Parade by St James’ Park in the British capital, with members of the royal family, invited guests and the general public watching on.

The ceremony is broadcast live by the BBC in the UK and is also shown on television in Belgium and Germany.

trooping the colour 2018
Trooping The Colour, 2018. (Credit: Getty)

Since 2018, the Associated Press has provided a live stream to viewers across the world on the Time magazine YouTube and Facebook pages, so Australians can tune in to watch the affair.

Traditionally, the monarch travels down the Mall from Buckingham Palace in a royal procession led by the sovereign escort of Household Cavalry (aka mounted troops or horse guards).

After receiving a royal salute, His Majesty inspects troops and the Royal Horse Artillery, selecting one guard to ‘troop its colour’ through the ranks.

The King returns to Buckingham Palace to watch another march outside the gates, and once a 41-gun salute has been heard to signal the end of the birthday parade, King Charles leads the British royal family onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a Royal Air Force flypast.

Ahead of this year’s event, here are some of the most memorable royal family moments from Trooping The Colour throughout the years!

trooping-the-colour-2023
Trooping the Colour, 2023. (Credit: Getty)

Cheeky Prince George

Back in 2015, Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s son Prince George was a little too young to join his royal family for the full event on the Palace balcony.

Toddler George stayed with his Spanish nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo to watch some of the proceedings for the first time from a nearby window, and the baby Prince delighted royal fan watchers by cheekily sticking his tongue out for the cameras.

prince george trooping the colour 2015
Trooping The Colour, 2015 (Credit: Getty)

The pregnant princess

A radiant Diana, Princess of Wales, appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace beside her father-in-law Prince Philip in June 1982 while heavily pregnant with her first child with Prince Charles.

princess diana prince philip trooping the colour 1982
Trooping The Colour, 1982. (Credit: Getty)

Princess Diana and the Duchess of York share a laugh

In 1987, Princess Diana and Sarah, Duchess of York gave the crowds an insight into their special relationship by sharing a private laugh on the balcony while watching the proceedings.

The Princess and the Duchess were surrounded by other recognisable royals, including Prince Harry, Princess Anne, Prince William and Prince Andrew.

sarah ferguson princess diana trooping the colour 1987
Trooping the Colour, 1987 (Credit: Getty)

Meghan Markle’s debut

In June 2018, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex made her Trooping The Colour debut alongside her husband Prince Harry.

The newly minted royal looked resplendent in a dusty pink Carolina Herrera dress and matching hat as the young royal couple made their first public appearance since returning from their honeymoon.

meghan harry trooping the colour 2018
Trooping The Colour, 2018. (Credit: Getty)

Meghan also shared a sweet moment with her new sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Princess Catherine Meghan Markle Trooping the Colour 2018
Trooping The Colour, 2018 (Credit: Getty)

Princess Charlotte’s tantrum

That same year in 2018, Princess Charlotte took her place with the royal family for Trooping The Colour.

But the Cambridge’s daughter looked less than impressed with the occasion and had to be comforted by mum Kate Middleton while her aunt and uncle Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tried not to giggle.

princess charlotte trooping the colour 2018
Trooping The Colour, 2018 (Credit: Getty)

The bossy big cousin

In 2018, Prince George was put in his place by his big cousin Savannah Phillips, daughter of Princess Anne’s son Peter and his then-wife Autumn.

Savannah shushed the future King during the RAF flypast before cupping her hand over his mouth.

savannah phillips prince george trooping the colour 2018
Trooping The Colour, 2018 (Credit: Getty)

The hilarious scene delighted fans and made international headlines, but the Duke of Cambridge looked less than impressed at their antics.

prince william prince george savannah phillips trooping the colour 2018
Trooping The Colour, 2018 (Credit: Getty Images)

Camilla and Kate’s sweet journey

In 2018, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall travelled with her stepdaughter-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge to the Queen’s annual birthday parade.

The wives of Windsor wore matching mint coloured ensembles, with Kate – who had given birth to her third child Prince Louis less than two months previously – wearing a stylish dress by her favourite designer Alexander McQueen and a hat by Juliette Botterill.

trooping the colour 2018 queen camilla princess catherine
Trooping The Colour, 2018 (Credit: Getty)

Prince Louis steals the show

In 2023, Prince Louis delighted the crowds with his return to Trooping the Colour. The young royal smiled and waved at the crowds, but also offered plenty of animated reactions to the parade.

wales family trooping the colour 2023
Trooping the Colour, 2023 (Credit: Getty)

While travelling down the Mall in a carriage with siblings Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the young prince appeared to hold his nose at the smell of the horses.

wales children trooping the colour 2023
Trooping the Colour 2023 (Credit: Getty)

While on the balcony, he was seen turning and chatting to his parents and eventually pushed his arms out with fists closed as the Royal Air Force went over his head.

Kate Middleton returns

After taking a break from royal duties while undergoing cancer treatment, Princess Catherine made her much-anticipated return for the 2024 Trooping The Colour.

Following the initial carriage ride, the mum-of-three appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony with her husband and children.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Catherine, Princess of Wales during Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024 in London, England. Trooping the Colour is a ceremonial parade celebrating the official birthday of the British Monarch. The event features over 1,400 soldiers and officers, accompanied by 200 horses. More than 400 musicians from ten different bands and Corps of Drums march and perform in perfect harmony. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Royal fans were delighted to see Kate make her public return. (Credit: Getty)

The fab five reunite

Ahead of the 2024 Trooping, the last time these five were pictured together was at the 2023 Christmas Morning Service at Sandringham Church. So this was a big moment for royal fans.

Wills, Kate, George, Charlotte, and Louis, appeared the picture of a united family as they appeared on the balcony – waving at watchers below.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 15: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince George of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales (Colonel of the Welsh Guards), Prince Louis of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales watch an RAF flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after attending Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024 in London, England. Trooping the Colour, also known as The King's Birthday Parade, is a military ceremony to mark the official birthday of the British Sovereign. The ceremony takes place at Horse Guards Parade followed by a flypast over Buckingham Palace and was first performed in the mid-17th century during the reign of King Charles II. The parade features all seven regiments of the Household Division with Number 9 Company, Irish Guards being the regiment this year having their Colour Trooped. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The fab five reunited in the public eye for the 2024 Trooping. (Credit: Getty)

Kate and Wills even shared a look of love.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales during Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024 in London, England. Trooping the Colour is a ceremonial parade celebrating the official birthday of the British Monarch. The event features over 1,400 soldiers and officers, accompanied by 200 horses. More than 400 musicians from ten different bands and Corps of Drums march and perform in perfect harmony. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The prince and princess were lost in each other’s eyes for a moment. (Credit: Getty)

Watchful big sister Charlotte

That same year, while Prince Louis was up to his usual cheeky antics, big sister Charlotte was keeping a watchful eye on her little brother – making sure he was following royal protocol.

Though, that didn’t stop him from sneaking in an adorable dance while on the balcony.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Prince George of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales during Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024 in London, England. Trooping the Colour is a ceremonial parade celebrating the official birthday of the British Monarch. The event features over 1,400 soldiers and officers, accompanied by 200 horses. More than 400 musicians from ten different bands and Corps of Drums march and perform in perfect harmony. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Nothing gets past big sister Charlotte. (Credit: Getty)

Like mother, like daughter

Princesses Catherine and Charlotte shared a few sweet moments during the 2024 Trooping, swapping glances and smiles.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Catherine, Princess of Wales and Princess Charlotte of Wales during Trooping the Colour on June 15, 2024 in London, England. Trooping the Colour is a ceremonial parade celebrating the official birthday of the British Monarch. The event features over 1,400 soldiers and officers, accompanied by 200 horses. More than 400 musicians from ten different bands and Corps of Drums march and perform in perfect harmony. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Princess Catherine has a little mini-me in Charlotte. (Credit: Getty)

Kate even smoothed out Charlotte’s hair and rubbed her daughter’s shoulders – perhaps commending her on a job well done.

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