PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Sunday, June 15, 2014

ALL ABOUT ENGLISH Pomp, pageantry, Countryside

 

 

Pomp, pageantry and a (very smart) Prince: William leads the charge at spectacular musical tribute to Britain's armed forces at Beating Retreat

  • The Beating Retreat at Whitehall marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day and centennial of First World War
  • Servicemen and women impressed a 6,500-strong crowd during the London ceremony last night
  • Crowds witnessed a procession of military musicians performing a series of war-time anthems
  • Prince William wore the black and gold trimmed uniform of the Irish Guards of which he is a Royal Colonel

The Duke of Cambridge led the charge at a spectacular musical and theatrical tribute to Britain's armed forces during a special performance of Beating Retreat.

The annual display of military pomp and ceremony took on a special resonance this year, marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the centennial commemorations of the First World War.

Servicemen and women marked the sacrifices made by those who served in both wars by impressing the 6,500-strong crowd with a display of horsemanship, pageantry and gunfire last night.

Support: The Duke of Edinburgh salutes at the special performance of Beating Retreat which took place at Horse Guards in Whitehall last night

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Support: The Duke of Edinburgh salutes at the special performance of Beating Retreat which took place at Horse Guards in Whitehall last night

Adorned in the black and gold trimmed uniform of the Irish Guards, of which he is a Royal Colonel, Prince William opened the ceremony by taking the salute.

At sunset fireworks sent streaks of green, silver and red sparks into the sky. A procession of military musicians, each in the signature uniform of their battalion, performed a series of war-time anthems at the Horse Guards in Whitehall, central London.

The crowd saved one of their biggest cheers of the night for D-Day veteran Gordon Newton, who was shown on the big screen in the front row wearing his red beret and his medal adorning his chest.

Prince William

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Prince William

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Dashing: Adorned in the black and gold trimmed uniform of the Irish Guards, of which he is a Royal Colonel, Prince William opened the ceremony

In good spirits: Prince William (centre) speaks with Major-General Edward Smyth-Osbourne during the Beating Retreat military pageant at Horse Guards Parade in London

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In good spirits: Prince William (centre) speaks with Major-General Edward Smyth-Osbourne during the Beating Retreat military pageant at Horse Guards Parade in London

Members of the Massed Bands of the Household Division, the French Troupes de Marine and the French Foreign Legion (Legion etrangere) perform at the Beating Retreat military pageant at Horse Guards Parade in London

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Members of the Massed Bands of the Household Division, the French Troupes de Marine and the French Foreign Legion (Legion etrangere) perform at the Beating Retreat military pageant at Horse Guards Parade in London

The Massed Bands of the Household Division perform at the Beating Retreat which marked the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and centennial of First World War

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The Massed Bands of the Household Division perform at the Beating Retreat which marked the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings and centennial of First World War

He sang along as The Band of the Welsh Guards led a rendition of the First World War ballad 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary'.

Asked what he thought of the display, he said simply: 'Wonderful'.

British troops were joined by comrades from France and Canada, and William paid tribute to the work of Britain's close allies on the international stage.

He said: 'As Colonel of the Irish Guards I am delighted to support the Household Division Beating Retreat.

Servicemen and women marked the sacrifices made by those who served in the First and Second World Wars by impressing the 6,500-strong crowd

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Servicemen and women marked the sacrifices made by those who served in the First and Second World Wars by impressing the 6,500-strong crowd

Prince William chats during the Beating Retreat

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Prince William chats to another member of the Irish Guards

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Smart: Prince William cut a dashing figure in the black and gold trimmed uniform of the Irish Guards of which he is a Royal Colonel

Pomp: Members of the Vancouver Police Pipe Band perform at the Beating Retreat military pageant at Horse Guards Parade last night

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Pomp: Members of the Vancouver Police Pipe Band perform at the Beating Retreat military pageant at Horse Guards Parade last night

The Massed Bands of the Household Division perform at Beating Retreat which marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day landings and 100 years since the start of WWI

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The Massed Bands of the Household Division perform at Beating Retreat which marked the 70th anniversary of D-Day landings and 100 years since the start of WWI

'Year after year this wonderful event showcases the skill and professionalism of our military musicians whilst reinforcing the traditions and heritage for which we as a nation are justifiably proud and envied the world over.

'As we begin our centenary commemorations of the First World War, I am particularly pleased to welcome our friends from Canada and France to Horse Guards Parade.

'Our linkage with both nations remain as strong as ever and continue to be reinforced through current military operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere.'

The annual display of pomp took on a special resonance this year, marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the centennial commemorations of the First World War

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The annual display of pomp took on a special resonance this year, marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the centennial commemorations of the First World War

Proud: Prince William praised the skill and professionalism of military musicians while reinforcing the traditions and heritage of the armed forces

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Proud: Prince William praised the skill and professionalism of military musicians while reinforcing the traditions and heritage of the armed forces

As fireworks lit up the night sky, the Massed Band of the Household Division gave a performance of O Fortuna, accompanied by the Royal Choral Society

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As fireworks lit up the night sky, the Massed Band of the Household Division gave a performance of O Fortuna, accompanied by the Royal Choral Society

Dancers from the London Swing Dance Society perform alongside members of the Massed Bands of the Household Division in London last night

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Dancers from the London Swing Dance Society perform alongside members of the Massed Bands of the Household Division in London last night

The role horses have played in defence was honoured in a display by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery in Horse Guards Parade in central London

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The role horses have played in defence was honoured in a display by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery in Horse Guards Parade in central London

The final performance of the Household Division's Beating Retreat when the Duke of Cambridge took salute at Horse Guards Parade

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The final performance of the Household Division's Beating Retreat when the Duke of Cambridge took salute at Horse Guards Parade

Spectacular: Fireworks lit up the London skyline as the Massed Band of the Household Division gave a performance of O Fortuna

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Spectacular: Fireworks lit up the London skyline as the Massed Band of the Household Division gave a performance of O Fortuna

As fireworks lit up the night sky, the Massed Band of the Household Division gave a performance of O Fortuna, accompanied by the Royal Choral Society.

They were followed by the Band of the French Foreign Legion who performed a medley of military songs.

The role horses have played in defence was honoured in a display by the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery.

Galloping into the arena in two diagonal lines, the horse pulled small cannons mounted on carts in a choreographed routine.

As a finale, all the bands assembled to perform The War of the Worlds to a backdrop of fireworks and cannon fire.

London and the U.K. From Above

Photographer Jason Hawkes has been making fascinating aerial images since 1991. With a gyro-stabilized camera, he takes photos directly from the open door of a helicopter. Hawkes has covered subjects around the world, but specializes in aerial shots of the United Kingdom. Once more, he's been kind enough to share some of his recent photos with us here.

St Michael's Mount, situated just off the Mount's Bay coast of Cornwall. See it mapped here. (© Jason Hawkes)

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View of Tower Bridge and the River Thames at night, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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People relaxing on the beach in Lyme Regis, Dorset. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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Longships Lighthouse stands just West of Land's End, Cornwall. See it mapped here. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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The Brecon Beacons mountain range in South Wales. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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Planes awaiting take off at Gatwick Airport Terminal at night. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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The disused Cwm colliery in Beddau, Wales. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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The bright lights of the landmark skyscrapers in the City at night, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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Paths through Hyde Park, one of the largest parks in London. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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The domed greenhouses at the Eden Project in St. Blazey, Cornwall. See it mapped here. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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View of pigs on a farm in Narborough, Norfolk. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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An offshore wind farm standing in the North Sea off the coast of Kent. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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An illuminated Emirates Stadium at night during a match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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The lifeboat shed in the coastal town of Tenby, Wales. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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Crowds of people at a summer event in Hyde Park, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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Edinburgh Castle dominates the skyline from Castle Rock, Edinburgh. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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Crossrail tunnel construction site at night, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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China clay pits near Trethurgy, Cornwall. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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Farmers working beneath wind turbines, Wales. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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The Scottish Parliament Building sits within the UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Edinburgh. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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Low level aerial view of Nelsons Column, Trafalgar Square, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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People at the Duck and Waffle Restaurant at the top of the Heron Tower, London. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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Thick sea fog hides the chalk headland at Beachy Head, East Sussex. (© Jason Hawkes) #

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People at the top of The Shard at night, London. (© Jason Hawkes)

 

A Medieval fortress, a Home Counties idyll and a Cotswolds village: Britain's favourite picnic spots are revealed

  • Bamburgh Castle in Northumbria, with its North Sea vista, is considered the ultimate spot to eat outside in the UK
  • Seven of the top ten are overlooking a river, the sea or a reservoir, making water the best view while having lunch

It may have been battered by the worst of the Bank Holiday weather, but even in the wind and rain Bamburgh Castle still has a lot going for it, because today it was named Britain's best-loved picnic spot.

The Medieval fortress in Northumbria, which enjoys a dramatic view of the North Sea above a wide sandy beach, is officially the best place in the UK to eat a sandwich and watch the world go by.

Once a common battleground for bloody combat between the Scottish and English, the now tranquil Bamburgh cannot be matched as a venue for a traditional picnic, experts have decided.

A new poll has found that the key ingredient for the ultimate al fresco lunch is a view of water, with seven of the top ten overlooking a river, the sea or a reservoir.

Can't be matched: Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland coast has today been revealed as the best place in Britain to sit and have a picnic

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Can't be matched: Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland coast has today been revealed as the best place in Britain to sit and have a picnic

Number two: Belfast City Hall in the heart of the capital of Northern Ireland was considered an outstanding spot for lunch and the top urban venue

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Number two: Belfast City Hall in the heart of the capital of Northern Ireland was considered an outstanding spot for lunch and the top urban venue

Norfolk idyll: The harbour and beach at Blakeney in North Norfolk boasts the beast of coastal scenery as well as a wonderful village centre

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Norfolk idyll: The harbour and beach at Blakeney in North Norfolk boasts the beast of coastal scenery as well as a wonderful village centre

TOP TEN BEAUTY SPOTS FOR A PICNIC LUNCH IN BRITAIN

1. Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
2. Belfast City Hall
3. Blakeney, Norfolk
4. Box Hill, Surrey
5. Coast Road, Barrow–in– Furness, Cumbria
6. Cow & Calf rocks, West Yorkshire
7. Elan Valley reservoir, Mid–Wales
8. Lower Slaughter, Gloucs
9. Rhosneigr Beach, north–west Wales
10. Stokes Bay Beach, Hampshire

Following the stunning Bamburgh Castle in the rankings are Belfast City Hall in Northern Ireland, Blakeney in Norfolk, Box Hill in Surrey, Coast Road in Cumbria and the Calf and Cow rocks in West Yorkshire.

The remaining places in the top ten go to the Elan Valley Reservoir in Mid-Wales, Lower Slaughter in Gloucestershire, Rhosneigr Beach in north-west Wales and finally Stoke Bay Beach in Hampshire.

Experts said today that these places all offer one wonderful thing - people who decide to dine in the fresh air at any of these places will be genuinely happier when they leave. After several months of nominations, shortlisting and then a vote, VisitEngland, Visit Wales and bakers Kingsmill have announced the best of British lunch spots.

10,000 people put forward their own suggestions and this was whittled down to 25 before the top ten was announced today.

They were not just judged on their beauty, they also had to have easy accessibility for all and are also free to visit.

English countryside: A group of people enjoying the view and a bite to eat on Box Hill in Surrey, which overlooks Dorking from the summit of the North Downs

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English countryside: A group of people enjoying the view and a bite to eat on Box Hill in Surrey, which overlooks Dorking from the summit of the North Downs

Beautiful: The Cow and Calf rocks on Ilkley Moor near Bradford, West Yorkshire, was also considered one of the top places for an al fresco lunch

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Beautiful: After a walk the Cow and Calf rocks on Ilkley Moor near Bradford, West Yorkshire, was also considered one of the top places for an al fresco lunch

Best of British: This stunning, sweeping road that leads to the sea is called the Coast Road, near Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, which ranks highly in the top ten

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Best of British: This is the stunning, sweeping Coast Road, near Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, which ranks highly in the top ten

Pure drama: The Caban Coch Dam, Elan Valley, close to the area's reservoir in Powys received many votes as a great place to eat

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Pure drama: The Caban Coch Dam, Elan Valley, close to the area's reservoir in Powys received many votes as a great place to eat

Cotswolds: Tourists stop at the famous stone bridge over the River Eye, Lower Slaughter in Gloucestershire, one of England's most beautiful bridges

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Cotswolds: Tourists stop at the famous stone bridge over the River Eye, Lower Slaughter in Gloucestershire, one of England's most beautiful bridges

Each of the top ten will receive a plaque and a bench for people to sit and eat their lunch on.

James Berresford, the chief executive of VisitEngland, said he was pleased that the majority of the spots were in the country he represents.

'What better way to appreciate this green and pleasant land than to sit in a beautiful spot, unpack a delicious picnic and share lunch with friends and family?' he said.

Summer dream: Dog walkers and a family enjoy the beautiful sands at Rhosneigr Beach in North Wales

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Summer dream: Dog walkers and a family enjoy the beautiful sands at Rhosneigr Beach in North Wales, one of two places in Wales to make top the top ten

Final entry: Propping up the top picnic spots is Stokes Bay in Hampshire, which is renowned for its long sands and dramatic coastline

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Final entry: Propping up the top picnic spots is Stokes Bay in Hampshire, which is renowned for its long sands and dramatic coastline

Dr Manon Williams, the chief executive for Visit Wales, said: "I'm delighted that two locations in Wales have made it to the top 10 lunch spots in the UK.

'The contrast in the two locations voted for by the public shows the variety of what Wales has to offer. Rhosneigr is on the glorious Wales coast and part of the 870–mile Wales Coast Path, and the beautiful, tranquil Elan Valley is a great place to spot a red kite while eating lunch.'

 

 

 








 

     

The joker in the pack! Prince Harry keeps Kate laughing as Royal Family gather to salute the Queen at Trooping the Colour parade

  • Queen inspected 1,000 soldiers of the Household Division at Horse Guards Parade in central London
  • She was joined by all adult senior royals as she celebrated her official birthday with spectacular parade
  • Queen arrived in Ascot Landau carriage after short drive down The Mall, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh
  • The Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Cambridge were all on horseback for the ceremony
  • The Duchess of Cambridge arrived in a coach alongside the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry

Prince Harry was playing the joker in the pack today as he kept the Royal Family entertained while the Queen celebrated her official birthday with a spectacular Trooping the Colour parade.

Harry appeared to be the centre of attention as he was seen laughing and joking with his grandmother and grandfather, the Queen and Prince Philip, as well as his brother Prince William and sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge.

Members of the Royal Family had gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for an RAF flypast following the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

During the parade the Queen inspected 1,000 soldiers of the Household Division at Horse Guards Parade in central London.

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The entertainers: Prince Harry and Prince Philip keep the rest of the family entertained as they stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the RAF flypast

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The entertainers: Prince Harry and Prince Philip keep the rest of the family entertained as they stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the RAF flypast

Family: Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, share a joke on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour parade today

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Family: Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, share a joke on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour parade today

Raising a smile: Prince Harry also shared a joke with the Duchess of Cambridge as they stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace where the RAF held their traditional flypast

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Raising a smile: Prince Harry also shared a joke with the Duchess of Cambridge as they stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace where the RAF held their traditional flypast

Sharing a joke: The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Cambridge (left to right), share a joke on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour parade

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Sharing a joke: The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Cambridge (left to right), share a joke on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour parade

Royal wave: The Queen is joined by members of her family as she steps out on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour parade to celebrate her official birthday

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Royal wave: The Queen is joined by members of her family as she steps out on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour parade to celebrate her official birthday

The Royal Family:The Queen is joined by members of the Royal Family as they watch a fly-past by the RAF, on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following Trooping the Colour at Horse Guards Parade

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The Royal Family:The Queen is joined by members of the Royal Family as they watch a fly-past by the RAF, on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following Trooping the Colour at Horse Guards Parade

Crowds: Thousands gather outside Buckingham Palace as they watch the flypast during the Trooping the Colour ceremony

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Crowds: Thousands gather outside Buckingham Palace as they watch the flypast during the Trooping the Colour ceremony

Aerial: A Lancaster Bomber flanked by two Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly over Buckingham Palace as part of the flypast

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Aerial: A Lancaster Bomber flanked by two Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly over Buckingham Palace as part of the flypast

The Duchess of Cambridge, in an outfit similar in colour to that of the Queen, arrived in a coach alongside the Duchess of Cornwall, who was in peach.

There was no sign of Prince George of Cambridge.

The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards.

Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William watch the flypast at Buckingham Palace

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Prince Harry and Kate share an observation during the flypast

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Prince Harry and Kate share an observation as they watch the flypast at Buckingham Palace

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Prince Harry shares a joke with Kate while his brother Prince William watches on during the flypast at Buckingham Palace

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Joker in the pack: Prince Harry shares a joke with Kate while his brother Prince William watches on during the flypast at Buckingham Palace

Impressive: An E-3D, or AWACS, is flanked by two HS 125s as they fly over Buckingham Palace during the flypast today

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Impressive: An E-3D, or AWACS, is flanked by two HS 125s as they fly over Buckingham Palace during the flypast today

Aerobatics: The Red Arrows fly over central London as part of the flypast during the Trooping the Colour

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Aerobatics: The Red Arrows fly over central London as part of the flypast during the Trooping the Colour

Overhead: Among the 28 aircraft in the RAF flypast was 13 different types including Spitfires and a Lancaster bomber

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Overhead: Among the 28 aircraft in the RAF flypast was 13 different types including Spitfires and a Lancaster bomber

Red Arrows: There was a display by the Red Arrows areobatic team during the fly-past, which also included Typhoon fighter jets and the RAF's largest transport aircraft, Voyager

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Red Arrows: There was a display by the Red Arrows areobatic team during the fly-past, which also included Typhoon fighter jets and the RAF's largest transport aircraft, Voyager

Take a picture: The crowds take pictures of the flypast as members of the Royal Family watch the impressive display from the balcony of Buckingham Palace

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Take a picture: The crowds take pictures of the flypast as members of the Royal Family watch the impressive display from the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Impressive: The Red Arrows fly over Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen's official birthday celebrations

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Impressive: The Red Arrows fly over Buckingham Palace as part of the Queen's official birthday celebrations

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip step onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Birthday Parade

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip step onto the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Birthday Parade

All smiles: Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William look out on to the crowds as they gather outside Buckingham Palace

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All smiles: Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William look out on to the crowds as they gather outside Buckingham Palace

Prince William and Kate share a moment as Prince Harry takes in the atmosphere during the Queen's official birthday celebrations

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Prince William and Kate share a moment as Prince Harry takes in the atmosphere during the Queen's official birthday celebrations

It is the first time since 2005 that the Grenadiers have not been on operations in Afghanistan, about to deploy to the country or recently returned from Helmand Province.

Four of the five Foot Guards regiments of the Household Division - the Welsh Guards, Grenadier Guards, Scots Guards and the Coldstream Guards - marched in the parade wearing their traditional bearskin hats and red tunics.

The Queen's actual birthday was on April 21, when she turned 88.

Parade: The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh rode in a vintage carriage as they attended the Trooping the Colour parade today to celebrate her official birthday

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Parade: The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh rode in a vintage carriage as they attended the Trooping the Colour parade today to celebrate her official birthday

Carriage: The Queen arrived in an Ascot Landau carriage after the short drive down The Mall from Buckingham Palace, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh

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The Prince of Wales (left), the Princess Royal (right) and the Duke of Cambridge (centre), were all on horseback for the ceremony

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Ceremony: The Queen (left) arrived in an Ascot Landau carriage after the short drive down The Mall from Buckingham Palace, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh. Pictured, right, is the Prince of Wales (left), the Princess Royal (right) and the Duke of Cambridge (centre), who were all on horseback for the ceremony

Royal wave: The Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry travelled together as the parade made its way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade in central London

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Royal wave: The Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry travelled together as the parade made its way along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade in central London

Arrival: Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrive for Trooping the Colour at The Royal Horseguards

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Arrival: Camilla, Duchess Of Cornwall, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry arrive for Trooping the Colour at The Royal Horseguards

Inspecting the troops: Wearing a powder blue satin silk coat, dress and hat with navy trim, all by Angela Kelly, with a Brigade of Guards brooch, the Queen then rode alone in the carriage - the first time she has ridden in it for this ceremony - to inspect her troops

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Inspecting the troops: Wearing a powder blue satin silk coat, dress and hat with navy trim, all by Angela Kelly, with a Brigade of Guards brooch, the Queen then rode alone in the carriage - the first time she has ridden in it for this ceremony - to inspect her troops

PARADE PLANNER MADE AN MBE

The soldier who plans the Queen's birthday parade every year has been made an MBE on the day of this year's celebration.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Sergeant Major David Lochrie, the ceremonial plan writer, was also involved in events including the Diamond Jubilee, the funeral of Baroness Thatcher and the ceremonial parts of the London Olympics in 2012.

The father of two from Chester-le-Street, in County Durham, writes, drafts and delivers the orders for every major UK ceremonial event, including spending four months every year planning the Queen's Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Soskin, Brigade Major for the Household Division, described him as 'indispensable'.

The Household Division Bands and Corps of Drums also took part in the event, along with the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

Major General Edward Smyth-Osbourne, commander of the Household Division, said: 'This year the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War is particularly poignant as we honour those who served, remember those who died and strive to ensure that the lessons learnt live with us forever.

'It is also the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Campaign and the subsequent liberation of Nijmegen, the action for which this year's Escort is named.

'Next year is the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, the battle at which the Grenadiers earned their name.

'The Household Division Regiments have played their part in the momentous events of the past and, I am confident, stand ready for whatever we face in the future.'

Prince Harry's appearance at the Trooping ceremony comes months after he gave up his role as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner for a military desk job with responsibilities that include organising major ceremonial events involving the Army.

But he has not been involved in planning the Trooping the Colour event.

A huge crowd later descended on Buckingham Palace, where senior royals appeared on the balcony to cheers.

But there was again no sign of Prince George with his parents.

The Duchess of Cambridge, in an outfit similar in colour to that of the Queen, arrived in a coach alongside the Duchess of Cornwall, who was in peach

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Princess Eugenie rode with the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex

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Parade: The Duchess of Cambridge (left), in an outfit similar in colour to that of the Queen, arrived in a coach alongside the Duchess of Cornwall, who was in peach. Princess Eugenie (right) rode with the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex

Carriage: There was no sign of Prince George of Cambridge as the Duchess of Cambridge rode alongside the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry for the ceremony

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Carriage: There was no sign of Prince George of Cambridge as the Duchess of Cambridge rode alongside the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry for the ceremony

Prince Harry rode alongside Kate and Camilla for the ceremony

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While Prince William rode on horseback for the event

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Brothers: Prince Harry rode alongside Kate and Camilla for the ceremony while his brother Prince William, Colonel of the Irish Guards, rode on horseback

Troops: The Queen rides down The Mall as she returns to Buckingham Palace during the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony

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Troops: The Queen rides down The Mall as she returns to Buckingham Palace during the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony

Traditional uniform: It is the first time since 2005 that the Grenadiers have not been on operations in Afghanistan, about to deploy to the country or recently returned from Helmand Province

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Traditional uniform: It is the first time since 2005 that the Grenadiers have not been on operations in Afghanistan, about to deploy to the country or recently returned from Helmand Province

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra travel by carriage during Trooping the Colour

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Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha watch the parade

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Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra travel by carriage (left) as Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha watch the parade (right)

Cavalry: Members of the Household Cavalry passes prior to the Trooping the Colour - the Queen's Birthday Parade, at The Royal Horseguards

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Cavalry: Members of the Household Cavalry passes prior to the Trooping the Colour - the Queen's Birthday Parade, at The Royal Horseguards

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery provided a 41-gun salute in Green Park to mark the Queen's official birthday before the royals appeared for the traditional RAF flypast.

Among the 28 aircraft which buzzed over the royal residence were 13 different types, from Spitfires and a Lancaster Bomber of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and a DC3 Dacota with D-Day stripes, days after the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Landings. They were followed by modern Typhoon fighter jets, the Red Arrows aerobatic team and the RAF's largest transport aircraft, Voyager. 

Prince William took part in his first Trooping the Colour in 2011 after he was appointed Colonel of the Irish Guards.

On the march: Members of the Foot Guards march past the Queen, military dignitary and members of the public during the Trooping the Colour parade

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On the march: Members of the Foot Guards march past the Queen, military dignitary and members of the public during the Trooping the Colour parade

Ceremony: The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery provided a 41-gun salute in Green Park to mark the Queen's official birthday before the royals appeared for the traditional RAF flypast

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Ceremony: The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery provided a 41-gun salute in Green Park to mark the Queen's official birthday before the royals appeared for the traditional RAF flypast

March: Members of the Queen's Guard march prior to the Trooping the Colour. More than 1,000 soldiers took part in the traditional display of pomp and pageantry

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March: Members of the Queen's Guard march prior to the Trooping the Colour. More than 1,000 soldiers took part in the traditional display of pomp and pageantry

Traditional: The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards

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Traditional: The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards

Queen's Guard: Four of the five Foot Guards regiments of the Household Division - the Welsh Guards, Grenadier Guards, Scots Guards and the Coldstream Guards - marched in the parade wearing their traditional bearskin hats and red tunics

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Queen's Guard: Four of the five Foot Guards regiments of the Household Division - the Welsh Guards, Grenadier Guards, Scots Guards and the Coldstream Guards - marched in the parade wearing their traditional bearskin hats and red tunics

Getting ready: Preparations are made to the parade ground ahead of the Trooping the Colour parade in London

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Getting ready: Preparations are made to the parade ground ahead of the Trooping the Colour parade in London

Prince Charles takes part in the parade as Colonel of the Welsh Guards, while Princess Anne is Colonel of the Blues and Royals.

Trooping the Colour originated from traditional preparations for battle.

Colours, or flags, were carried, or 'trooped', down the rank so that it could be seen and recognised by the soldiers. In the 18th century, guards from the royal palaces assembled daily on Horse Guards to 'troop the colours', and in 1748 it was announced that the parade would also mark the Sovereign's official birthday.

'THE SISTER I NEVER HAD': HOW HARRY AND KATE'S FRIENDSHIP HAS BLOSSOMED OVER THE YEARS

Prince Harry has gained something of a reputation for livening up formal Royal events.

He has also been pictured on numerous occasions sharing a joke with the Duchess of Cambridge, who he has described as the sister he never had, at events over the years.

While he spent part of this year's Birthday Parade entertaining the rest of the family, Harry was also seen making a joke with Camilla and Kate at last year's event.

Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge share a joke on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during last year's Trooping the Colour

Prince Harry, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge share a joke on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during last year's Trooping the Colour

Kate and Harry also smiled and giggled their way through the royal balcony appearance during the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in 2012.

While William stood formally, hands clasped, his cheeky brother whispered a series of humorous asides to his sister-in-law.

Kate and Harry also chatted the day before as they rode in an open-topped carriage together and at the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral where they whispered as they waited for the Queen.

They quite clearly share the same sense of humour, as they were seen laughing together as Prince William was invested into the Order of the Garter in 2008.

Kate and Harry also smiled and giggled their way through the royal balcony appearance during the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in 2012

Kate and Harry also smiled and giggled their way through the royal balcony appearance during the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in 2012

The future king watched on as his younger brother and Kate collapsed in giggles as he strode past in his ceremonial gown.

In 2012 the Daily Mail revealed how Harry had moved near to William and Kate at Kensington Palace, living in a one-bedroomed flat close to their home, Nottingham Cottage.

The three young Royals appear to be utterly at ease in each other's company.

 

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