Trooping the Colour: 11 most memorable royal moments (2024)

Trooping the Colour 2024 is upon us, and it’s the second as a monarch for King Charles III.

As king, he gets two birthdays, his real one on November 14, and an official one in June.

For 70 years prior to 2023, the parade and flypast had been centred around Queen Elizabeth II.

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There have been many memorable moments throughout the decades, many of them involving the Queen, the youngest royals, and now King Charles too.

Let’s take a look at 11 of the best…

Queen Elizabeth II rides in the Horse Guards Parade – 1949

During the reign of her father King George VI, the then-Princess Elizabeth rode in the Horse Guards Parade during Trooping the Colour – to celebrate his 53rd birthday.

The late Queen last rode on horseback during the parade in 1986.

Princess Diana holds toddler Prince William – 1984

Jump to 1984, and a two-year-old Prince William captured the Royal Family’s and the public’s attention during Trooping the Colour.

The Prince of Wales and future monarch was held by his mother Princess Diana – and was spotted toddling along the balcony with the other children in attendance.

Prince Harry pulls cheeky expressions – 1988

Before Prince Louis became the king of funny facial expressions, a young Prince Harry held the crown.

Pictured here in 1988 being held by his mother Princess Diana, the now Duke of Sussex was captured on camera playfully pointing to things and sticking his tongue out.

Princess Kate’s first Trooping the Colour balcony moment – 2011

Shortly after their April 2011 wedding, Princess Kate – then known as duch*ess of Cambridge – attended her first Trooping the Colour on Buckingham Palace balcony.

The now-Princess of Wales looked elegant in a white coat dress by Alexander McQueen, which was styled with a large black fascinator.

Prince George looks slightly bored – 2017

The Prince and Princess of Wales’s eldest child, Prince George, was almost four years old when he made us all giggle during Trooping the Colour in 2017.

As young children often do at grown-up events, the future king was snapped on numerous occasions looking animatedly fed-up while standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Meghan Markle’s first Trooping the Colour – 2018

Meghan Markle, who had recently become duch*ess of Sussex, made one of her early royal appearances at Trooping the Colour in 2018.

She wore a dusky pink, off-the-shoulder Carolina Herrera dress, complete with matching hat, and was pictured smiling alongside husband Prince Harry and theRoyal Family.

In his memoir Spare, Harry claimed it wasn’t the most relaxed outing – writing that Meghan’s joke that the event was ‘colourful’ was followed by a ‘yawning silence’.

Prince George gets shushed by cousin Savannah Phillips – 2018

In the same year, the royal youngsters once again stole the show – this time it was Prince George and Savannah Phillips, the granddaughter of Princess Anne.

Amid the excitement of the day, Savannah was pictured shushing her cousin by placing a finger to her lips, and in the funniest snap of all, placing her hand over an amused Prince George’s mouth.

During the event, Savannah was also snapped comforting her younger cousin Princess Charlotte during a tearful moment.

Prince Louis’ balcony debut and sweet little wave – 2019

As mentioned earlier, Prince Louis has become well-known among royal fans for his hilarious faces and reactions at official events including the coronation.

But 2019 was one-year-old Prince Louis’ first time on the balcony for Trooping the Colour, and the tot spent the event in the arms of his father Prince William and mother Princess Kate.

He was filmed clapping, pointing at planes, and ended the appearance with a little wave. Adorable.

Queen Elizabeth II’s low-key Trooping the Colour – 2021

Trooping the Colour was very different in 2021, due to the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

Queen Elizabeth II’s penultimate Trooping the Colour took place at Windsor Castle, where Her late Majesty – dressed in a stunning lilac outfit – sat alone and watched the parade and flypast.

The Platinum Jubilee – 2022

A few months before she passed away in September 2022, Queen Elizabeth II attended her final Trooping the Colour birthday celebration during the Platinum Jubilee.

Royal fans were delighted to see the 96-year-old monarch standing and smiling on Buckingham Palace’s balcony, albeit with a handy walking stick.

The late Queen looked radiant in a light blue outfit, and also appeared amused as her grandson Prince Louis animatedly held his hands over his ears during the noisy festivities.

King Charles III’s first Trooping the Colour as head of state – 2023

Last year, the King received the official birthday wishes of the nation during his very first Trooping the Colour as head of state.

He rode on horseback at the ceremony and became the first monarch to do so since 1986, when the late queen rode her horse, Burmese.

The Red Arrows took to the London skies in honour of his official birthday and Typhoon jets even spelled out the letters ‘CR’ for Charles Rex.

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