Queen Elizabeth II Applauded on Palace Balcony at Platinum Jubilee Parade

Queen Elizabeth II appeared on the Buckingham Palace balcony to loud cheers during the opening of her Platinum Jubilee.

The monarch, 96, overcame recent health problems to take the salute at Trooping the Colour in unique fashion, not from the parade ground but from above, as thousands of Brits turned out to mark her historic reign.

Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne took the salute from the parade ground as the pomp and pageantry was broadcast to an international audience.

Later, the wider royal family gathered together to watch the fly past that capped off the historic event.

Prince William reunited with Kate Middleton and their children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis while Prince Charles joined wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Elizabeth is the first in British royal history to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.

Queen Elizabeth II on Palace Balcony
Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during her birthday parade, Trooping the Colour, which kick-started four days of celebration of her Platinum Jubilee. It was the first time in her reign that she took the salute from the balcony rather than the parade ground. Chris Jackson/Getty Images

However, the major milestone was not the only first of the day, as it was also Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis' first royal carriage procession.

Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, godfather to Prince George, told the BBC: "I loved the way that they dipped their heads to the colour as they past it, learning young. Absolutely right, fantastic."

It was also Meghan Markle's first jubilee as a duchess, though having quit royal duties she was due to watch from the former office of the Duke of Wellington, rather than from the balcony where senior family members gathered.

Similarly, it was Prince Harry's first Trooping the Colour as a royal outsider, having quit his duties in 2020.

However, as Elizabeth appeared on the balcony there had still been no sign of the California-based, post-royal couple.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were banned from the balcony but permitted a prime spot to view the pageantry with other non-working royals.

The move by the palace elevated them above the status of Prince Andrew, who withdrew from public life in the wake of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal but kept them below those royals who still perform official duties.

Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Portrait
Queen Elizabeth II is seen in a Platinum Jubilee portrait released ahead of her appearance at Trooping the Colour on the first day of celebrations, on June 2, 2022. Elizabeth is the first U.K. monarch to mark 70 years on the throne. Royal Household/Ranald Mackechnie/PA

Katie Nicholl, royal editor of Vanity Fair, told the BBC: "That balcony appearance is always incredibly important.

"You can read as much as to who is on the balcony as who is not. We know that there will be 17 members of the royal family alongside the queen and they will be working members of the royal family.

"I think that's also an opportunity for the queen to thank those who she calls her substitutes for being out there day in and day out working tirelessly for Her Majesty the Queen not just here in the United Kingdom but around the world."

Lowther-Pinkerton, former aide to both Prince William and Prince Harry, told the BBC: "I think this parade as much as anything else represents an affirmation of the relationship not just between Her Majesty and her foot guards but also the people of Great Britain, the crowds out on The Mall and there's that lovely triangulation taking place."

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