Thursday, 2 June 2022

Harry and Meghan Begin Jubilee Appearances at Trooping the Colour

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex landed in the UK yesterday with Archie and Lilibet to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

The festivities kicked off this morning in fitting style with Trooping the Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade. It's an incredibly significant time, marking myriad milestones. In addition to celebrating Her Majesty's unprecedented reign, it is the first time Harry and Meghan have appeared officially together in England since the Commonwealth Day service in 2020. It's Archie's first visit back in over two years and Lili's first. The Sussexes' daughter will mark her first birthday on Saturday, and it's been widely reported she will have the opportunity to meet her namesake, the Queen, on that day. It's also been reported the Prince of Wales will spend time with Archie and Lili, and the possibility of a christening at some point remains, though there's been neither confirmation nor much speculation on this. It's been suggested Prince Harry was given assurances regarding security ahead of the visit, and according to the Mirror will be protected by the Met's Royalty and Specialist Protection Unit.

Last night, a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan confirmed the couple were "looking forward" to attending today. They watched from the Major General’s Office, the former office of the Duke of Wellington, overlooking Horse Guards Parade. Below, a number of royals watching from the office.

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I wasn't entirely sure how much we would see of the couple today. I think they are incredibly aware of the near frenzied state the media is in over their return and they were clearly mindful of keeping the focus on Her Majesty and elected to stay in the background. I don't believe either Harry or Meghan watched directly from one of the windows, at least not within view. Just one or two photographers managed to get long lens images, and as you can see they were having a great time with Peter Phillips' daughters Savannah and Isla, and Zara's daughters Mia and Lena. Harry is Lena's godfather.

Prince Harry gets in on the action.

The Duke and Duchess with the Duke of Kent.

The Duke of Kent later accompanied Her Majesty for her first Buckingham Palace appearance. 

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The Duke and Duchess were cheered as they drove through London.

Four days of jovial celebrations began against the backdrop of an excited nation paying homage to a historic reign which in all likelihood will never be repeated. The four-day weekend lends itself perfectly to marking the occasion, and indeed a break for people all over the UK following two-years of incredible difficulties and challenges will be welcomed.

Trooping the Colour is an annual highlight on the summer calendar, promising a stunning display of pomp and pageantry in London. It's the first time it's been held since 2019.

Although the Queen's birthday is 21 April, it has long been tradition to celebrate the sovereign's birthday publicly on a day in June, when sunny weather is more likely. Her Majesty has attended Trooping the Colour every year since 1947, except in 1955 when a national rail strike cancelled the event.

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The background of the prestigious annual event? Trooping the Colour actually originated in traditional preparations for battle. Colours, or flags, were trooped down the rank so they could be seen by the soldiers. In 1748, it was announced the parade would also mark the sovereign's official birthday. Below, the Queen in 1931 with her grandmother Queen Mary and her mother the Duchess of York (later the Queen Mother).

More on the history of the day:

'The Sovereign's birthday is officially celebrated by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour (Queen's Birthday Parade). This impressive display of pageantry takes place on a Saturday in June by her personal troops, the Household Division, on Horse Guards Parade, with Her Majesty the Queen herself attending and taking the salute. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.

During the ceremony, The Queen is greeted by a Royal salute and carries out an inspection of the troops. After the massed bands have performed a musical 'troop', the escorted Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks.The Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry then march past Her Majesty, and The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, rank past.The Queen rides in a carriage back to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards, before taking the salute at the Palace from a dais.'

An enormous amount of planning and preparation goes into ensuring the annual event runs as smoothly as possibly. The execution of each detail has been meticulous.

Members of the Royal family travelled in carriages.

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On horseback, Prince Charles, Colonel of the Welsh Guards; Prince William, Colonel of the Irish Guards; the Princess Royal, Colonel of the Blues and Royals.

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The colour was trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, and more than 1,200 officers and soldiers from the Household Division will put on a display of military pageantry on Horse Guards Parade, together with hundreds of Army musicians and around 240 horses.

Beginning at Buckingham Palace, the Parade moved down the Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade.

All the nations of the United Kingdom are represented on this parade. Below, a soldier from the Coldstream Guards.

The British Army revealed: "The Major General Chris Ghika is in Command of all troops on parade for this and all the military aspects of the wider Platinum Jubilee Weekend."

Lieutenant Charles Bashall carried the Colour on parade on Thursday and said: "It is an incredible privilege to be part of the Trooping the Colour Parade for the Platinum Jubilee. I am extremely fortunate to be involved in the Platinum Jubilee especially as there may never be one again."

Commanding scenes.

The British Army revealed: "The Massed Bands of the Household Division process down The Mall to Horse Guards. The music for this special Jubilee parade includes “Slattery’s Mounted Fut”, a favourite tune of Her Majesty The Queen Mother, “Long Live Elizabeth” in tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, Irish Folk songs, and “Bob’s Own” a new composition just for this event named for the first Colonel of the Irish Guards, Field Marshal Lord Roberts."

The Queen was joined on the balcony afterwards by senior working members of the family, including the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Cambridges and George, Charlotte and Louis, the Princess Royal and her husband Sir Timothy Laurence, and the Wessexes with their children Louise and James. The event culminated with a stunning display by the Royal Air Force.

The then Princess Elizabeth accompanying her father King George VI in 1947.

It has been a central annual milestone throughout the Queen's reign.

Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh leaving Buckingham Palace for Horse Guards in 1963.

Trooping the Colour 1976.

A family affair in 1989.

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Her Majesty's Ruby Jubilee in 1992. I simply adore the millinery on display here.

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Trooping in the year of the Golden Jubilee, 2002.

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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Trooping a decade ago, the year of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

Her Majesty's 90th birthday was marked at the annual birthday parade in 2016.

Princess Eugenie and family were with the Sussexes today. Eugenie shared this behind-the-scenes photo from her vantage point. 

It marks the third time the Duchess of Sussex has attended the display of pageantry. In 2018, following their honeymoon, the newlyweds celebrated the birthday parade. The Duchess wore an elegant pink Carolina Herrera design and Philip Treacy hat.

In 2019, in her first appearance following Archie's birth, Meghan sported Givenchy and a Noel Stewart hat.

The Duchess was effortlessly chic today.

With thanks to Japanese Ginger, Meghan wore a fabulous hat by one of her go-to milliners, Stephen Jones. The Sinmay Boater with Grossgrain Trim is described: "The shape is dramatic but it has such a sense of refined, old style glamour. The perfectly placed bow looks gorgeous with its silhouette adding to the beauty of summer evenings."

It very much looks like Meghan wore her Roland Mouret Barwick dress. Meghan first wore it the day before her wedding.

The £1,350 dress was described as "a romantic option for the Resort 2018 season, the Barwick Dress in navy double wool crepe can be easily transition from day to night. Angled panels create an alternative take on a boatneck-shaped neckline and a flirty, handkerchief waterfall off to the side of the knee-length skirt creates an ultra feminine silhouette".

Meghan wore it again in 2018 for the 'Queen of the World' documentary in which she discussed honouring the Commonwealth with her wedding veil.

It's been exciting to hear from several of you travelling over for the Jubilee. The atmosphere is absolutely fantastic.

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To say people are getting in the spirit would be something of an understatement.

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It's a time to dress up.

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And don't forget the corgis!

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Portraits of Her Majesty have been projected onto Marble Arch.

Across the country, talented crocheters and knitters have been getting to work.

It's a time to get creative.

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And that means fashion, too.

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Prince Charles got his dancing shoes on at a Jubilee tea dance at Highgrove. 

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Princess Eugenie was on hand to meet the winner of the Queen's Jubilee Emblem Competition at the Victoria & Albert Museum.

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Legoland in Windsor were busy.

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Fabulous artwork from children and play specialists at Evelina London.

 Tomorrow's service of thanksgiving begins at 11 am. The Jubilee is off to a wonderful start!


  1. I'm just always so happy to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Wish there were more photos of them at today's event. Truly hope they let us catch a glimpse of Lord Archie and Lady Lilibet during this trip. Congratulations to Her Majesty The Queen on her historically long reign, I wish her many more years as monarch.

  2. I can't help it -- I just adore Meghan! I love that she played with that sweet group of little girls. I'm sure their giddiness was about to spill over, and Meghan made a good babysitter. Her hat -- just amazing! If she did rewear her dress, that's good; great to see it again as best we could. I'm sure they will be low key -- no trips anywhere, to keep the focus on the Jubilee. As they have their children, I wonder if they might go anywhere, like to see the Hubb women, after this weekend. Thank you for all the historical photos!!

  3. Thank you for this summary! I really am looking forward to seeing more of Meghan and Harry and the Jubilee! Of course 70 years is an age 😯 so congrats to her Majesty.

  4. I just rewatched the video of Meghan describing the crafting of her wedding veil. You know, the aftermath of their marriage really distracted from the facts that she was in love, excited about the opportunity to serve, and wanting to be a part of Harry’s family. It’s such a lovely video, and in rewatching it, in light of all the changes since, I have a new understanding of and respect for her strength. I’m so very glad the Sussexes are there to celebrate with Harry’s Granny the Queen on such a truly special and historic event. (And PS - her hat is OFF. THE. HOOK!!!!).

  5. Glad I clicked over to this blog. Yea! So happy Charlotte you included an update here as well. Agree with everyone, that hat is off the rails - and a possible 're-wear' would be on trend as well. I'm really loving the photo of Princess Eugenie and family as well. That's darling.

    We were able to see most of the Great Grandchildren - where's Archie?

  6. Give me Meghan's hat please 🙏👌

  7. Becca in Colorado2 June 2022 at 21:33

    That hat is glorious. She looks so good!

  8. Thank you so much for this amazing coverage!

  9. I'm happy that the Duke of Kent accompanied Her Majesty onto the balcony. she looked beautiful. Meghan's hat is lovely. A repeat dress was wise. The Navy dress with the feature of handkerchief waterfall off to the side I don't like at all, but that is my personal preference. The bodice and shoulders are fabulous. The Navy color, very elegant and smart.

  10. Meghan Sussex's hat is absolutely to die for! One of the best I've ever seen, and I am a true hat connoisseur, if I do say so myself. I liked Kate Cambridge's hat as well and felt it really made her look. The crisp navy and white gave her outfit needed snap, given that the white coatdress is otherwise a bit bland, albeit extremely well-tailored, as usual with these designs.

    I loved that navy Mouret the instant I first saw it, but I am not yet convinced it's what the Duchess is wearing in these Jubilee pictures. It's a bit hard to tell, but the neckline and the dimensions of the sleeves look to be somewhat different.

    I thought I'd move back and forth between the MS and KC sites over the next few days rather than try to comment on both every day. That's why I mentioned Kate Cambridge's hat here.

    1. Agreed! Not convinced she's in the Mouret (her body is slightly different after pregnancy). But I think she knows what she likes and choose something similar. I'm good with calling it a repeat.

    2. Yes, those Mouret dresses are very fitted in the waist -- I know, I've tried on a couple -- and I suspect that navy dress wouldn't work on her body now.

  11. Ooh La La !!! .....THE HAT..says it all !!!

  12. For we cat lovers, the UK Simon's Cat has a new royal cartoon:

  13. It's great to get a glimpse of Meghan and Harry looking relaxed and happy, and probably relieved not to be on display. Meghan's hat! Wow! Thanks for your coverage, Charlotte.



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