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Trooping-The-Colour-2017-Balcony-Shot (2)

The Queen released a statement ahead of the annual ceremony celebrating her official birthday, acknowledging that the terror attacks in Manchester and London Bridge, and the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower had led to a ‘sombre national mood’.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte were the stars of the show on a packed Buckingham Palace balcony, as they watched open-mouthed at an RAF flypast for Trooping the Colour.

The young Prince and Princess joined the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh and the other Royal family members for an annual appearance, waving to large crowds outside the palace.

Isla and Savannah, the daughters of Peter and Autumn Phillips, charmed the crowds as they appeared to match RAF planes overhead to a picture book in their hands.

As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge kept a close eye on their children, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh took centre stage at Buckingham Palace as they observed the crowds of well-wishers.

Earlier in the day, the Queen had issued a message to the nation, acknowledging sorrow over the “terrible tragedies” in London and Manchester over the last few weeks.

They held a minute’s silence to honour all those affected.

The Prince of Wales rode horse George and wore the Guard of Honour uniform. The Duke of Cambridge wore his Irish Guard’s Tunic with Jubilee medals, sword and bearskin, and rode Wellesley.

The Princess Royal, on Sir John, wore her Colonel of the Blues and Royals uniform, with medals.

The procession was accompanied by a Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry, made up of Life Guards and Blues and Royals, in their silver and gold breastplates and plumed helmets.

The Colour paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards.

Four of the five Foot Guards regiments of the Household Division – the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots and Irish Guards – marched in the parade wearing bearskin hats and red tunics.

The Household Division Bands and Corps of Drums also took part, as will the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery who, following the parade, fired a 41-gun salute in Green Park to mark the Queen’s official birthday.

Trooping the Colour originated from traditional preparations for battle. Colours, or flags, were carried, or ”trooped”, down the rank so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.

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