The ceremonial ride, in which she also shared a barouche (open-top) carriage with brother-in-law Prince Harry and mother-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, went along the Mall in London from Buckingham Palace as part of the ceremonial festivities for Queen Elizabeth‘s official birthday, a celebration known as Trooping the Colour.
Kate wore the same Alexander McQueen coat she wore for Princess Charlotte‘s christening last year and paired it with a light peach Philip Treacy hat. According to a Treacy rep, the hat is from their spring/summer ’16 collection and is a moulded slice in sinamay with rosettes. Camilla wore coordinating white Anna Valentine coat and matching topper by Treacy.
Meanwhile, the Queen stood out in very bright green ensemble by Stewart Parvin and a matching hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan. She topped off the look with her Brigade of Guards brooch.
Prince William rode up ahead on royal horse Wellesley (said by the army to be a “calm mottled gray” steed) as he, like his dad Prince Charles, is a royal colonel. William was in the familiar bearskin hat, ceremonial scarlet of Colonel of the Irish Guards (complete with his Jubilee medals).
The other royal colonel, the Queen’s only daughter Princess Anne, rode atop Elizabeth, a soon-to-be-retired horse named for the guest of honor.
The annual Trooping the Colour birthday parade, in which nearly 1,500 soldiers take part in precision marches and drills, took on special significance with the Queen’s landmark 90th birthday this year. (She marked her actual birthday on April 21.)
Last year, Kate’s Trooping appearance was the first time she had taken part in an official event since the May 2 birth of daughter Charlotte.
Related Video: A Look Back at Princess Kate’s Past Year With Her Children
Later this morning, a now 1-year-old Charlotte is expected to be on the balcony with her brother Prince George, nearly 3, for the annual post-parade fly-past by Royal Air Force jets.
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Along with more than 1,000 troops, there are 300 horses on parade this year, with the musicians from the Household Division Bands and Corps of Drums playing too. The eye-catching Drum Horses of the Household Cavalry Band carrying priceless antique solid silver drums – they weigh 80 lbs. each! – will also be on parade.
Each year, a different regiment takes a turn presenting its colors down the ranks – a drill that is based on the colors being used as rallying point on the battlefield. This year, it’s the turn of Number 7 Company Coldstream Guards.
• With reporting by MONIQUE JESSEN