London — Queen Elizabeth II marked her official birthday Saturday with the annual Trooping the Color parade, a traditional display of British pageantry at its very best.
About 1,400 soldiers in ceremonial scarlet coats and bearskin hats marched past the queen in a ceremony on Horse Guards Parade in Westminster. Royals taking part included Prince Charles, Prince William and his wife Kate, and Prince Harry and his wife Meghan — who appeared in her first public outing since giving birth to their son, Archie, to watch the birthday fly-past of military aircraft.
Baby Archie did not appear, but another young royal almost stole the queen's limelight when he made his debut on Buckingham Palace's balcony. One-year-old Prince Louis, the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, waved frantically at the first of the helicopters in the show.
The queen marks her birthday twice a year — an official ceremony is always held in June, in hopes of holding the parade in good weather. Her actual birthday, on April 21, is usually celebrated with close family only.