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Queen Elizabeth’s 90th Birthday Celebrations Kick Off With Trooping of the Colour Parade

Such pomp and circumstance! Queen Elizabeth kicked off a weekend full of festivities for her 90th birthday with the annual Trooping of the Colour parade in London on Saturday, June 11.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip Samir Hussein/WireImage

The monarch, who stunned in a bright lime-green coat by Stewart Parvin and matching hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan, happily waved to thousands of people who lined the Mall to watch the colorful display.

Related: Queen Elizabeth II Turns 90! Relive the British Monarch’s Most Royal Moments

Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Anne
Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne (from left) attend Trooping the Colour. Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images

More than 1,600 soldiers and 300 horses took part in the annual event, which also included mounted military bands and others wearing traditional bearskin hats. This year, the Colour of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards are being trooped.

The queen was accompanied in her horse-drawn carriage by 95-year-old Prince Philip, with Prince Harry, Duchess Camilla and the Duchess of Cambridge traveling together in another carriage. Duchess Kate’s husband, Prince William, rode on horseback along with his father, Prince Charles.

Related: PHOTOS: Princess Charlotte of Cambridge: Meet Kate Middleton, Prince William's Daughter

Prince Harry, Camilla, Kate
Prince Harry, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on June 11, 2016. Karwai Tang/WireImage
Prince Harry
Prince Harry Tolga Akmen/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Trooping of the Colour parade is a traditional military ceremony that dates all the way back to the 18th century. The queen first watched the ceremony from a balcony at the age of 8, when her grandfather George V was the king, and she has taken part in it every year since her own reign began in 1952. (The one exception is 1955, when there was a national rail strike.)

Up until the 1980s, the queen even rode in the parade on horseback.

Related: PHOTOS: 15 Charming Throwback Photos of the Royal Family

Prince Charles, Kate, Charlotte, George, William, Harry
Prince Charles, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince William attend the Trooping of the Colour. Karwai Tang/WireImage

The Trooping of the Colour refers to the “colour,” or flag, that was a symbol of a regiment during war times and was used as a rallying point in battle as a show of pride.

The royal family later greeted crowds on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, where Kate and William’s daughter, Princess Charlotte, 13 months, made her first public appearance.

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