Queen Elizabeth II appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony to loud cheers during the opening of her Platinum Jubilee.
The monarch, 96, overcame recent health problems to take the salute at Trooping the Colour in unique fashion, not from the parade ground but from above, as thousands of Brits turned out to mark her historic reign.
Elizabeth is the first in British royal history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.
However, the major milestone was not the only first of the day, as it was also Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis’ first royal carriage procession.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, godfather to Prince George, told the BBC: “I loved the way that they dipped their heads to the colour as they past it, learning young. Absolutely right, fantastic.”
It was also Meghan Markle‘s first jubilee as a duchess, though having quit royal duties she was due to watch from the former office of the Duke of Wellington, rather than from the balcony where senior family members gathered.
Similarly, it was Prince Harry‘s first Trooping the Colour as a royal outsider, having quit his duties in 2020.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were banned from the balcony but permitted a prime spot to view the pageantry with other non-working royals.
The move by the palace elevated them above the status of Prince Andrew, who withdrew from public life in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal but kept them below those royals who still perform official duties.
Lowther-Pinkerton, former aide to both Prince William and Prince Harry, told the BBC: “I think this parade as much as anything else represents an affirmation of the relationship not just between Her Majesty and her foot guards but also the people of Great Britain, the crowds out on The Mall and there’s that lovely triangulation taking place.”
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