Preview: Trooping the Colour
Bring on the balcony! This weekend is one of the most-anticipated days on the royal calendar. It’s the annual Trooping the Colour to mark the sovereign’s birthday, a tradition which began back in 1748. If you’re thinking: Wait a minute, the Queen turned 93 back in April, didn’t she? You are correct! That is her actual birthday, as in the day she was born, and a day she celebrates in private. This is the public celebration and it is elaborate af. The military parade includes more than 1,400 officers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians in some ten bands. The Queen herself used to ride on horseback — such a #boss move, don’t you think? — but these days, she prefers (and deserves) a carriage. The royals travel from Buckingham Palace down the Mall and back again, where they assemble for the annual epic balcony shot to watch the RAF flyover.
That balcony shot serves as *the* shot for the year, the one time we are guaranteed to get a picture of the Queen and her descendants. These days, it’s getting quite crowded! There are often more than 30 (!) people making an appearance. Rumor has it, Meghan will be back this year (although Archie will most certainly stay home). And we can expect to see the full Cam contingent, with Kate, William, George, Charlotte and meeeep ~Little Lou~ for the very first time.
I’ll confess, I’m fascinated by the royal family’s apparent struggle to line up in such a way that they can all be seen by the cameras. The Queen is front and center, yes. The couples/families tend to stick near one another and in an order that is more or less about their proximity to the throne. But the whole display does have a bit of a chaotic feel to it, doesn’t it? Isn’t there a handler who gives instructions ahead of time? Or someone who tapes a little X on the ground to remind each of them where to stand? I have to wonder if the photographers are silently screaming: If you can’t see us, we can’t see you!
Take a look at the balcony shots from the last five years, below. I spy a bit of self correcting, thank goodness. Kate was all but hidden behind the Queen in 2015, the year Prince George made his balcony debut. By 2016, she was much more prominently placed (with that epic arm-under-dress hold of Princess Charlotte).
Any guesses on how the fam will stand this year? Or what they will be wearing? Please share in the comments!
PS: The festivities start super early Saturday morning for those of us in the States. Bookmark this BBC link to watch the livestream live (or, if you prize sleep, after the fact).
Credit: All photos via ©️ Polaris.