Queen Elizabeth celebrates her 88th birthday with pomp

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Members of the British royal family (L-R)  Queen Elizabeth II; Sophie, Countess of Wessex; Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh; Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex; Prince Harry; Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge; and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, watch the flypast as they stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour ceremony, which has been the official birthday ceremony of the monarch since 1748.

Britain’s royals were out in force on the Buckingham Palace balcony on Saturday to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s 88th birthday.

Some 32 members of the family joined the monarch to watch a military flypast over central London as part of her official birthday celebrations.

No sign of the baby Prince George though, as royal watchers would have to wait a little longer for the little royal to make his first public appearance.

The parade, a hangover from preparations for battle when colours or flags were “trooped” down the rank so soldiers could recognise them, marks the
queen’s official birthday. 

Her actual birthday is on April 21 but traditionally the monarch has another in the summer months because the weather is usually better for open-air celebrations.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth smiles during the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony at Horse Guards Parade in central London June 14, 2014. 

Members of the Queens Guard march past Buckingham Palace early on in the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

An unrecognisable Prince William  wearing a bearskin hat and giving a salute as he departs Buckingham Palace before the parade.

Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, travel by carriage.

 Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip depart Buckingham Palace in a horse drawn carriage.

Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge (centre); Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (left); and Princess Anne, The Princess Royal ride from Buckingham Palace.

A general view of the parade

Source: AFP, Reuters