The royals – sans Prince George – attended the annual Trooping the Colour celebration Saturday in London
Credit: Stephen Lock/Polaris

Last June, Kate was in the last weeks of her pregnancy as she participated in her final official engagements before giving birth to her son, Prince George.

This time around, the Duchess of Cambridge helped fête Queen Elizabeth at her official birthday parade – called Trooping the Colour – while the young royal was safely tucked away being cared for by his nanny.

Kate, 32, joined other members of the royal family to mark the official birthday of the queen. While her husband, Prince William, rode in his ceremonial uniform of Colonel of the Irish Guards, Kate took an open carriage with Prince Harry and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, to watch the annual gathering of soldiers.

With no Prince George on show, royal watchers may have been a bit disappointed, but then again, William didn t make his first Trooping the Colour balcony appearance until he was 2.

After watching the queen, 88, take the parade alongside Prince Philip, 93, Kate and the rest of the extended family, including Princess Eugenie and her father, Prince Andrew, made their way back to Buckingham Palace.

There, shortly before 1 p.m., they all appeared on the balcony to watch a fly-past by the Red Arrows display team. To the clear delight of the queen, who wore a powder-blue silk coat by Angela Kelly, the jets left red, white and blue trails in the skies above the palace.

As the airborne show ended, Prince Philip, in his scarlet tunic, shared a joke with Prince Harry, and Kate had a quiet word with her father-in-law, Charles, 65, as they were among the last ones to head back inside.

The parade kicks off a week of regular events for the queen. She will hold the Order of the Garter service at Windsor Castle Monday and then attend the annual Royal Ascot horse-racing festival all week.

Although her real birthday is on April 21, she has traditionally celebrated publicly in June, when the weather is ideal for parades.