Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her ninety-first birthday again on Saturday, when the royal family gathered at Buckingham Palace to mark the occasion with the annual—and extremely festive—Trooping the Color parade. It comes almost two months after the monarch's actual birthday on April 21, which the family celebrates privately. But royals gotta royal, and as it turns out, there's a good reason for celebrating her birthday twice: The public-facing, formal festivities for a monarch's birthday are always held in the summer because the weather is more likely to be nice. Ah, to be queen.
This year, though, the tone was a little different: Queen Elizabeth began the day with a moment of silence acknowledging the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London. She also released a poignant statement via the Royal Family's official Twitter account: “Today is traditionally a day of celebration. This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood. Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity. United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favor, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 17, 2017
Crowds caught glimpses of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, waving from the balcony.
Once the parade began, Prince William and Prince Charles rode horseback—as is tradition—dressed in full military garb, including medals and bearskin hats. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, rode in a carriage with her brother-in-law Prince Harry and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
Kate's outfit was as on point as always. She wore an Alexander McQueen dress in a poppy shade of pink designed by Sarah Burton (her go-to designer for major royal events, including her wedding) and a matching hat designed by milliner Jane Taylor. The dress had a paper-bag waist and a pleated neckline, which she accessorized with a pair of diamond-drop earrings that belong to the Queen. We don't usually see her in bright colors like this—she usually sticks to more subdued, neutral, or jewel-toned colors—but we love how the shade lights up her face.
In the royal micro-fashion department, Princess Charlotte, who joined the family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, matched her mother in a floral-patterned pink dress. Prince George, meanwhile, didn't look too impressed by the pageantry in his tiny Peter Pan collar and suspenders. Never change, George.
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