The Queen celebrated her 84th official birthday with the Trooping the Colour parade in London on Horse Guards Parade on Saturday, 12 June 2010 where Her Majesty took the royal salute. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were greeted by crowds lining The Mall as they rode from Buckingham Palace in a vintage carriage. Embedded below is a video report of the ceremony.
This year's Trooping the Colour is the 58th birthday parade of the Queen's reign. The procession was accompanied by a Sovereign's Escort of the Household Cavalry, made up of Life Guards and Blues and Royals, in their silver and gold breastplates and plumed helmets.
"You simply cannot beat the British at this," one American tourist told Olga Craig from the London Daily Telegraph (12/6). "I feel proud and I'm not even British. It is no wonder you revere your Royal family so much." The following is an extract from Ms. Craig's report.
…Horse Guards Parade…
In keeping with strict tradition Her Majesty's Royal Carriage arrived at Horse Guards Parade at 11am on the dot.
She and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel Grenadier Guards, rode down The Mall in Queen Victoria's 1842 ivory-mounted phaeton drawn by a pair of grey horses.
Accompanying them on horseback were His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales (Colonel Welsh Guards); His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent (Colonel Scots Guards) and her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (Gold Stick-in-Waiting and Colonel Blues and Royals.)
The moment the Queen arrived the Royal Standard was released and flown from the roof of the Horse Guards building.
Then it was her moment to inspect the line of assembled Guards.
There are at least two full dress rehearsals for the event each year as Her Majesty, it is said, notices every detail and notes any errors.
As she slowly inspected the Guards, the Massed Bands played first a slow and then a quick march.
Watching from the edge of the parade ground was Lieutenant Garth Banks of the Grenadier Guards, who lost both legs in Afghanistan in January.
"I am extremely proud of them," he said. "They are brave on the battlefield and professional on parade."
To the tune of The British Grenadiers, the parade officer lead forward the Escort for the Colour.
As the familiar tune boomed around the parade ground the crowd tapped its feet and swayed in time to its uplifting beat.
The tune is played each year regardless of which regiment is trooping its colour and signifies the fact that all infantry battalions once had Grenadier companies within them.
These were made up from the tallest and smartest men who enjoyed the honour and privilege of forming the right of the line (the senior positions).
Once the Colour was trooped, the Guards, in their poppy red tunics and well-brushed bearskins, filled the arena again giving a well-practised display of their foot-perfect precision marching.
As Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh left to return to Buckingham Palace, Prince William, his stepmother the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke of York and his daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie could be seen watching from an upstairs window.
When the Royals returned to the Palace they watched a three-minute 40-second fly-past by the Royal Air Force at 1pm.
It was made up of 28 aeroplanes of 11 different types, from World War II aircraft to modern multi-role Typhoon fighters and the Red Arrows aerobatic display team.
The formation was lead by the Battle of Britain Memorial flight whose inclusion commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
It was, of course, the old stalwarts of World War II – the legendary Spitfire and Hurricane – which won the biggest roars of approval.
On the balcony of Buckingham Palace the Queen waved enthusiastically, as if acknowledging the place the planes hold in the nation's heart.