10 most memorable royal moments from Trooping the Colour over the years

Prince Louis covers ears at Platinum Jubilee Trooping the Colour in June 2022
Which Trooping the Colour moments do you remember most? (Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Trooping the Colour 2023 is upon us, and it’s the first event to celebrate the birthday of King Charles III.

The monarch’s real birthday is actually on November 14, but as king he gets two birthdays.

For 70 years, the parade and flypast has been centred around Queen Elizabeth III, with balcony appearances featuring members of the Royal Family becoming a second point of interest.

There have been many memorable moments throughout the decades, many of them involving the Queen, or the youngest royals’ reactions to the very formal occasion.

Let’s take look at 10 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 Elizabeth as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards at Buckingham Palace
Princess Elizabeth as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards at Buckingham Palace (Picture: PNA Rota/Getty Images)

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.

Princess Diana holding Trooping The Colour 1984
The late Princess of Wales seen with her eldest son, Prince William, alongside Princess Margaret (Picture: David Levenson/Getty Images)

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.

Harry Sticks Out Tongue
Prince Harry with mother Diana and brother Prince William during 1988’s parade (Picture: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

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

Shortly after their April 2011 wedding, Princess Kate – then known as Duchess 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.

Trooping The Colour - London
The now Prince and Princess of Wales in 2011, pictured at Trooping the Colour with the late Queen Elizabeth II (Picture: Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images)

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.

Prince George looking bored at Trooping The Colour 2017
Prince George wasn’t always feeling 2017’s parade, it seems (Picture: Karwai Tang/WireImage)

Meghan Markle’s first Trooping the Colour – 2018

Meghan Markle, who had recently become Duchess 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’.

Trooping The Colour 2018
Meghan’s first Trooping the Colour took place in 2018 (Picture: James Devaney/FilmMagic)

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.

Trooping The Colour 2018
Cheeky Savannah made a ‘shush’ symbol to her cousin, later covering his mouth (Picture: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

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.

Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee 2022 - Trooping The Colour
Queen Elizabeth II’s final Trooping the Colour was during the Platinum Jubilee 2022 (Picture: Jonathan Brady – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

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

MORE : When is Trooping the Colour in 2023? Date of the first parade with Charles as King

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