Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Parade: Trooping The Colour

It’s My Party: Queen Elizabeth’s Birthday Parade

The annual Trooping the Colour celebration through the years.

When you’re Queen Elizabeth II, you don’t get one birthday party – you get two. Her Majesty's real birthday is April 21, but thanks to royal tradition, she also gets a parade on the second Saturday of every June. The fanfare dates back to 250 years ago, when King George II, who was born in the miserably cold month of November, wanted a way to celebrate his birthday in the summer — and lo, the Trooping the Colour parade was born. Here, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s 92nd birthday celebration, a look back at some of the most memorable moments from years past.

THE MARCH Chris Jackson/Getty Images THE MARCH Over 1,400 soldiers and 200 horses take part in the event, which begins at Buckingham Palace and moves along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade. (Pictured: Troops advance down the Mall during the 2017 ceremony.) QUEEN'S GRANDMOTHER Popperfoto/Getty Images QUEEN'S GRANDMOTHER Apart from a canceled parade in 1955, the Queen has never missed a Trooping the Colour celebration. (Pictured: A young Princess Elizabeth rides with grandmother Queen Mary and sister Princess Margaret in 1938.)

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HORSEBACK Bettmann/Bettmann Archive HORSEBACK The Queen herself used to attend the annual affair on horseback, but now travels by carriage. Pictured: Then-Princess Elizabeth represents her father, King George VI, at the 1951 parade. TOY SOLDIERS Popperfoto/Getty Images TOY SOLDIERS Once the Queen arrives at Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, she carries out an inspection of the troops. (Pictured: A view of the soldiers in 1964.) PRIDE AND JOY Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images PRIDE AND JOY Her Majesty holds baby Prince Edward as Prince Philip looks on dotingly in 1964. OLD SCHOOL Tim Graham/Getty Images OLD SCHOOL Among the royals on the balcony in '85: Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and a young William and Harry. FACETIME Tim Graham/Getty Images FACETIME Prince Harry makes a face for the crowd in 1988. ALL SMILES Tom Stoddart Archive ALL SMILES The Queen takes it all in at Horse Guards Parade, 1993. GRANDMA'S BOYS Tim Graham/Getty Images GRANDMA'S BOYS Harry and William share a laugh with their grandmother on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, 2003. THE FLYPAST Handout/Getty Images THE FLYPAST The annual display closes with an Royal Air Force flypast and a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park. (Pictured: The RAF zooms over Horse Guards Parade, 2008.) THREE'S A CROWD Chris Jackson/Getty Images THREE'S A CROWD In 2014, it was all eyes on Catherine and William, but this year a new royal couple will make their Trooping the Colour debut: Prince Harry will be joined by his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. WAVE TO THE CROWD Chris Jackson/Getty Images WAVE TO THE CROWD A young Prince George makes faces (just like his Uncle Harry) from a window at Buckingham Palace, 2015. BRIGHT AND SUNNY Samir Hussein/WireImage BRIGHT AND SUNNY In 2016, Prince George and Princess Charlotte brightened up the balcony with a little help from their great-grandmother's very green ensemble. WE ARE FAMILY Chris Jackson/Getty Images WE ARE FAMILY The Queen is joined by her family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, 2017. MARCH ONFootage of the festivities, through the years.

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