Trooping the Colour celebrates Queen's official birthday

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Media captionThe Royal Family gathered on the palace balcony to watch the Red Arrows

More than 1,000 soldiers took part in the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony to mark the Queen's official birthday.

Thousands of spectators also watched the annual meticulous display of army drill, music and horsemanship.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh rode in a vintage carriage from Buckingham Palace, along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade where the event was staged.

As part of the ceremony there was also be an RAF flypast watched by the Royal Family from the palace balcony.

The Red Arrows were a highlight of the flypast as they flew over the palace emitting red, blue and white smoke.

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Image caption The Prince of Wales, Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Royal took part in the ceremony
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Image caption The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh watched troops march past Buckingham Palace
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Image caption The Duchess of Cornwall, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry travelled to the ceremony together
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Image caption Troops marched along the Mall after the inspection

The military parade dates back to preparations for battle, when colours would be carried or "trooped" down the rank so they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.

The Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry travelled together in another coach, and the Duke of York, Princess Eugenie, Earl and Countess of Wessex, Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra were in the final carriage.

The Prince of Wales and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, took part in the parade on horseback.

A Sovereign's Escort was provided for the procession by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, who wore silver and gold breastplates and plumed helmets.

The colour paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards.

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.

After the parade, the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-gun salute in Green Park to mark the Queen's official birthday.

The Queen wore a powder blue dress designed by Angela Kelly. Her actual birthday was on 21 April, when she turned 88.

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