The Trooping the Colour celebrations mark the Queen's official birthday—not to be confused with her actual birthday on April 21—but Prince Philip was absent from the event this year. Queen Elizabeth II arrived alone to what will be her 66th ceremony as sovereign, waving to the crowds as her carriage made its way to the Horse Guards Parade in London.
Prince Philip retired from public duties last year, and will celebrate his 97th birthday on June 10, 2018. He has spent the last several weeks recovering from a hip replacement surgery in April, spending a week at King Edward VII hospital before continuing his recovery at Windsor. But he was, thankfully, well enough to attend the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last month.
The Queen, who drew cheers from the assembled crowds as she arrived, was accompanied by the royal colonels on horseback; the Prince of Wales, Colonel of the Welsh Guards; the Princess Royal, Colonel of the Blues and Royals; and the Duke of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards.
This year's ceremony marks the first time the Duke of York rode in his new role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, having taken over the appointment from the Duke of Edinburgh in December.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived at the ceremony together by car before riding in their own carriage, having returned from their honeymoon in time to join Queen Elizabeth at the celebrations.
Trooping the Colour is an annual military celebration that celebrates the monarch, and is also known as the Queen's second birthday. As the royal family's official website reveals, "Over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark The Queen's official birthday."
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