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Trooping The Colour: Royals spotted as military parade kicks off queen’s historic jubilee celebrations

The Queen has appeared from Buckingham Palace with a walking stick to begin four days of events—but there were some royal members missing.

The Queen has appeared from Buckingham Palace with a walking stick to begin four days of public events to mark her historic Platinum Jubilee, in what could be the last major public event of her long reign.

The 96-year-old was seen using a walking stick as she made her way onto the balcony with her cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, 86. She was later joined by the extended family but there were some big names left out of the photo op.

Though her appearance at the event had been in doubt after facing mobility problems, the aid of a walking stick and a bill of good health over the last few weeks allowed the monarch to take a salute from mounted troops from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, under the fluttering royal standard.

She was pictured in the same sky blue suit she wore for the official portrait that was released yesterday.

Traditionally, extended members of the royal family usually gather on the palace balcony to watch a flypast and while there was still a large number who gathered together, this year’s was dramatically changed by Her Majesty last month, ordering that only working royals could appear on the balcony – ruling out Harry, Meghan and a number of other notable names.

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“After careful consideration, the Queen has decided that this year’s traditional Trooping the Color balcony appearance on Thursday 2nd of June will be limited to Her Majesty and those members of the Royal Family who are currently undertaking official public duties on behalf of the Queen,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

Meghan Markle was spotted playfully shushing some of the royal children in her first reunion with the family since “Megxit”.

Meghan and Harry, who touched down in the UK yesterday, are understood to be joined by Beatrice and Eugenie, Zara Tindall at the Major General’s Office overlooking the parade.

Prince Andrew however was nowhere to be seen, instead, he was pictured riding a horse 40 kilometers away in Windsor.

He was understood to be joining the Queen at her Service of Thanksgiving until testing positive for Covid overnight. He saw the Queen just days earlier.

On the blacony, the Queen was joined by Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, Timothy Laurence, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Louis of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, James, Viscount Severn, Lady Louise Windsor and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

Earlier, the first royals were spotted for the start of the celebration.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was spotted in the rear of a car as she was driven along the Mall towards Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Color parade. Prince Charles accompanied her in full military regalia.

She later joined Kate Middleton waving to crowds in a carriage alongside Prince George, Prince Louis, and Princess Charlotte for their devute Trooping the Color ride.

Kate stunned in a white dress by Alexander McQueen that she has worn before while George, the eldest and third in line for the throne, wore a dark suit and tie, while Louis wore a sailor suit and Charlotte wore a blue dress.

Prince William meanwhile took part in the procession on horseback dressed in military uniform.

The Earl and Countess of Wessex with their son James were also among the carriages.

The Queen’s granddaughter Zara was also spotted while and husband Mike Tindall posted on Instagram: “Really looking forward to the next four days and celebrating one of the greatest woman on this planet.”

Trooping The Colour, also known as The Queen’s Birthday Parade, is a military ceremony performed by regiments of the British Army that has taken place since the mid-17th century.

It marks the official birthday of the British Sovereign.

This year, from June 2 to June 5, 2022, there is the added celebration of the Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne on 6 February 1952.

Huge crowds converged on central London in bright sunshine on Thursday to mark the occasion.

From early morning, a steady stream of people, many clutching Union flags and picnic baskets, headed to The Mall near Buckingham Palace, where the 96-year-old monarch will make two appearances later.

Ambulance service worker Gilbert Falconer, 65, traveled from Scotland to witness the event, which is held to mark the queen’s official birthday.

“This is very significant,” added another spectator Daniel Marmah.

Appearances

She has had to cut back drastically her public appearances since last year because of difficulties standing and walking — and a bout of Covid.

The centuries-old ceremony has previously seen the queen take the salute on horseback herself.

Joining senior royals watching the display of military precision will be Charles’ younger son, Prince Harry, and his wife Meghan, on a rare visit from California, Buckingham Palace confirmed.

She will return to the balcony later.

At nightfall, the queen will be at Windsor Castle, west of London, to take part in a ceremony to light more than 3,000 beacons across the country and the Commonwealth of 54 nations that she heads.

Elizabeth was a 25-year-old princess when she succeeded her father king George VI in 1952, bringing a rare touch of glamor to a battered nation still enduring food rations after World War II.

Britain’s first and very likely only Platinum Jubilee will see street parties, pop concerts and parades until Sunday.

She could yet put in a final appearance — again from the palace balcony — on Sunday, at the climax of a huge public pageant involving 6,000 performers.

“I know that many happy memories will be created at these festive occasions,” she said.

Respite

Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, caused shockwaves in early 2020 by moving to North America, from where they have publicly criticized royal life.

Since then, she has struggled with her health, and also the fallout from Andrew’s links to the convicted sex offenders Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

Attention is increasingly turning to the succession, and the monarchy’s future at home and in the 14 other Commonwealth countries where the queen is also head of state.

— with AFP

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