LONDON, June 18 (U.S.): Britain’s King Charles on Saturday celebrated his first official birthday parade as a sovereign, riding on horseback to inspect soldiers in a ceremony that has become an annual event since 1760.
The parade, known as “Trooping the Colour”, comes just weeks after Charles’s coronation on May 6, another celebration featuring soldiers in scarlet coats and bear fur hats in central London accompanied by music played by military bands, Reuters reports.
By appearing on horseback Charles, 74, is reviving a tradition abandoned by his mother, Queen Elizabeth, in 1986 when she was 60.
In the British Army’s annual tribute to the British monarch, Charles was greeted with a royal salute, and gave an inspection of the soldiers in front of 8,000 spectators, followed by his son, the Prince of Wales, his sister, Princess Anne, and his brother. The Duke of Edinburgh is also on horseback.
The Queen and Princess of Wales followed her in a carriage.
The colour, or regimental flag, mustered in ceremony, belongs to the 1st Welsh Battalion of the Guards.
Charles is then due to return to Buckingham Palace with his family, where they will gather on the building’s famous balcony to watch nearly 70 military aircraft and helicopters from 1200 GMT.
Clear skies mean that crowds gathered along the road between the mall and Horse Guard’s Parade will witness a full air show, including Typhoon fighters and Red Arrows, planes that have been prevented from joining the coronation in the past due to low clouds.
The C-130 Hercules will also take part in the transport aircraft’s final ceremonial flight before it is retired after nearly 60 years of service.
Charles became king when his mother, Queen Elizabeth, died at the age of 96 in September. Trooping the Color marks the official birthday of Britain’s monarch and usually takes place in June. Charles’ actual birthday is November 14th.
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