See Kate Middleton and Prince William's Separate Arrivals for Trooping the Colour

Kate arrived in a carriage, while William rode by horse

Kate Middleton and Prince William have arrived for Trooping the Colour!

As she usually does, Kate took part in the parade celebrating Queen Elizabeth's birthday by riding in a horse-drawn carriage. But this year, she had surprise guests: her three children! Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis made their carriage debut alongside their mom Kate and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Prince William, meanwhile, participated in the procession by riding on horseback, sporting his military uniform and a bearskin hat. Kate opted for a white dress she's worn before by Alexander McQueen, her wedding dress designer, and a white and blue Philip Treacy hat.

The royal couple will later appear together along with their three children on the Buckingham Palace balcony, where working members of the royal family will gather to watch the Royal Air Force flypast.

Prince William Trooping The Colour
Prince William. Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock

This marks the first Trooping the Colour for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge since 2019, as the event was massively scaled down in the past two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Queen Elizabeth, 96, attended solo in 2020 and was accompanied by her cousin Prince Edward, Duke of Kent in 2021, following the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge smiles, on her way to the Queen's Birthday Parade, the Trooping the Colour
Kate Middleton at Trooping the Colour - 2022. ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Last week, Prince William took on the role of leading the Colonel's Review, a military rehearsal for Trooping the Colour, on behalf of his grandmother. He appeared on horseback wearing his military uniform and a bearskin hat.

Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte in the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour during Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee
Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte at Trooping the Colour on June 2. Karwai Tang/WireImage

Although the Queen's 96th birthday was on April 21, Trooping the Colour always takes place in the early summer of the second weekend in June. The reason is a practical matter more than anything: the weather is nicer! The tradition is believed to have started during the reign of King George II in 1748. George II was born in October, but the annual Trooping of the Colour became a celebration of the monarch as well as the armed forces.

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But this year's Trooping the Colour is extra special, as it kicks off a long weekend of festivities celebrating the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, marking her historic 70-year reign.

The Prince of Wales takes part in the Royal Procession leaves Buckingham Palace for the Trooping the Colour
Prince Charles and Prince William at Trooping the Colour on June 2. Andrew Matthews/PA Images via Getty Images

The planned events include the lighting of Platinum Jubilee beacons, a service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral, the Derby at Epsom Downs, a live concert called "Platinum Party at the Palace," the Big Jubilee Lunch and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

Prince George of Cambridge, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge Trooping The Colour - The Queen's Birthday Parade
Prince George, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Kate Middleton. Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

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"She's not someone who directly enjoys the limelight, but she recognizes these anniversaries are moments for people and communities to come together," a source previously told PEOPLE.

The occasion also serves another purpose on behalf of much of the world. "It is a big thank-you moment," added the insider.

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