PHOTOS: Meghan Markle appears at first royal engagement since baby Archie’s birth
The Duchess of Sussex and husband Prince Harry were pictured leaving Buckingham Palace in a carriage to watch the Trooping the Colour parade. The ceremonial event marks the official birthday of the Queen, which always takes place on the second Saturday of June. Meghan is still on maternity leave, with royal sources stating that she is only attending today due to the family nature of the day. Baby Archie, who was born on May 6, will not be making an appearance.
The Prince Of Wales, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, will accompany the Queen on horseback along the Whitehall route as Trooping the Colour begins this morning. Princess Anne, Prince William and Prince Andrew, who are all royal colonels too, will also be taking part. Kate and William were spotted arriving together by car, with the Duke of Cambridge dressed in ceremonial uniform for the Irish Guards. He has held the honorary title of colonel since February 2011.
The public can also expect cheeky antics from royal youngsters Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who are likely to attend. Prince Philip, who celebrates his 98th birthday on Monday, has retired from official public duties and will not be attended. Thousands of flag-bearing spectators are expected to line the Mall as regiments of the British army perform an impressive display of pageantry in Whitehall. The procession involves more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians who will move from Buckingham Palace down the Mall.
A 41-gun salute in honour of the Queen will also take place in nearby Green Park by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The event finishes with a Royal Air Force (RAF) flyover watched by the Royal Family on Buckingham Palace balcony. Trooping the Colour has taken place annually for more than 260 years. But it is almost two months after the Queen’s real birthday on April 21, when she turned 93.