The Royal Gesture: Royal Youngsters Perfecting Their Royal Wave Through The Years
Royal kids are taught about life in the palace from an early age. From going on tours abroad when they’re only a couple months old, to being taught about their duty to their country and the Queen, the young ones kinda have a lot on their plate from the start. But, one of the very first skills they pick up on - and one of the most important and basic ones - is how to properly do a royal wave!
By now, Prince George and Princess Charlotte have already mastered the skill of the royal wave, learning from Her Majesty, their great-grandmother, herself. This past Saturday, their baby brother Prince Louis made his debut and also demonstrated his quick-learning skills. Let’s look at the cutest royal waves from the past few decades! But first, we'll explore the actual meaning behind the parade.
WHAT THE TRADITION IS ALL ABOUT
The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) took part in her first #TroopingTheColour parade in 1947.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 8, 2019
During her reign The Queen has attended Trooping the Colour every year except 1955 when it was cancelled because of the general strike. pic.twitter.com/rSrgpMAbQr
Trooping the Colour is a tradition that goes back to 1748, when King George II decided to combine the annual summer military march, along with his birthday celebration. Even though he was actually born in October. Ever since then, the monarch who is currently on the throne is given the option of having an official birthday in the summertime.
WHAT "TROOPING THE COLOUR" MEANS
The title has to do with the regiment flags. In the 1700s, the numerous regiments would show off their flags during the parade, in order for the troops to recognize their banners during battle. And this is exactly where "trooping" the "colour" comes from.
THE QUEEN HAS TWO BIRTHDAYS
Today is Her Majesty The Queen’s Official Birthday!— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 8, 2019
The Queen’s actual birthday is 21 April but is officially celebrated in June with #TroopingtheColour, which has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years. Find out why: https://t.co/Qh1wEkrrfN pic.twitter.com/9TN9ZpyFUO
Honestly, we wish we were as lucky as the Queen! Elizabeth II's actual day of birth is on April 21, when she privately celebrates the occasion. However, the annual parade marks her "official" birthday publicly on June 9. Why is that, you might ask? Well, it really just comes down to good weather - the troubles of being a Brit, we assume. Summertime is the only time to do a proper parade.
THE ACTUAL PARADE
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the @RoyalFamily arrive at London’s Horse Guards Parade ahead of her birthday procession, 'Trooping the Colour’. Since 1748, the ceremony has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign 👑 pic.twitter.com/75wmSE5SLr— AFP news agency (@AFP) June 8, 2019
Queen Elizabeth inspects her troops during the parade. In fact, she used to do this on horseback for a number of years but has attended in a carriage instead since 1987. The Telegraph reported that the yearly event includes 1,500 officers and men, plus 244 horses!
THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED BALCONY APPEARANCE
Queen Elizabeth II is joined by members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Place to watch the flypast after the Trooping the Colour ceremony, as she celebrates her official birthday.— PA Images (@PAImages) June 8, 2019
📷Victoria Jones/PA Images - see more at https://t.co/RmLwKbHcNO#royalfamily @PA pic.twitter.com/cq8P5Pwt2Y
This is one of the key parts of the Trooping the Colour parade. The moment that everyone waits for, is the royal family's appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Even though we sometimes see the royal family gather on the balcony throughout the year for other reasons, Trooping the Color is the only guaranteed annual appearance and is also the one with the largest group.
Prince Louis made his debut in June 2019, at his very first Trooping the Colour parade in London. His appearance was as adorable as you would expect it to be - Louis was so excited about his first wave, that the 14-month old almost knocked Kate’s hat off!
Isn't Prince Louis a star, what a wave! Thank you for all the kind comments and retweets following yesterday's Trooping The Colour. pic.twitter.com/60VyMsz3tE— Mark Stewart (@RegalEyes) June 9, 2019
When they were turning around to go back inside, Kate asked the little prince, “Shall we wave bye bye?”
Prince Harry's first day at nursery in 1987. He carried his own bag too - a Thomas the Tank engine one pic.twitter.com/wDAvyUMYTi— PA Royal Reporters (@PARoyal) January 6, 2016
Harry looks absolutely adorable on his first day of nursery! The little royal, who was only three years old at the time, was carrying a bag that was basically his size. Sooo cute.
Even though the future King was only a day old, he blessed well-wishers with a royal wave right outside the Lindo Wing back in July 2013.
William looked super cute dressed up in a snowsuit, at an official photocall with his parents, Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
Prince William was taken to his first day of school at Wetherby by his mum, Princess Diana, in January 1987 pic.twitter.com/aE5M2wSrvf— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) September 7, 2017
An excited, four-year-old William pictured on his first day of school back in January 1987.
PRINCE LOUIS AND PRINCESS CHARLOTTE
Louis took note from his older sister Princess Charlotte and waved to the crowds as well from Buckingham Palace at this year’s Trooping the Colour event.
THE QUEEN AND PRINCESS CHARLOTTE
Princess Charlotte had the best examples to learn from! Following William and Kate’s move, Charlotte, aged three years old at the 2018 Trooping the Colour, was seen looking over the Queen and perfectly copying her royal wave.
PRINCE HARRY AND LADY LOUISE WINDSOR
At Prince William and Kate’s wedding in 2011, Prince Harry decided to take the lead during the carriage procession, and encouraged Lady Louise Windsor, his cousin, to wave to the crowds with him too!
Prince George blesses us with a double wave in 2016, during the Cambridges’ tour of Canada.
Read more: Prince Charles Won't Automatically Be The Head of the Commonwealth Once He's King, And This Is The Reason Why.
Moments before going inside the Lindo Wing to meet her just arrived baby brother Louis, Princess Charlotte turns back and gives everybody one last wave.
Read more: Prince Charles Was Crying Before His Wedding Day And Prince Harry May Not Be Charles’ Son.
The 1964 Trooping the Colour was a special time. Queen Elizabeth presented Prince Edward, her youngest royal, to the world when he was only three months old. Big brother Prince Andrew, in the meantime, decided to copy his parents and wave!
THE MISSING PRINCE
Amidst all the excitement and fun, it looks like one of the most important royals was MIA - for the second time in the row. For her entire reign, Prince Philip has always been seen by the Queen's side at the biggest events. And although he'd usually join the monarch during the Trooping the Colour parade as well, Elizabeth rode solo once again.
Which, is a little surprising, considering the royal was an avid fan of the event in the past. In his younger days, Philip would even ride horseback! But this year, he was completely absent from the event, and he even missed it in 2018 too.
Although it might seem odd to us, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for the prince's absence. His last Trooping appearance was in 2017, which was only a couple of months before he officially retired from public life. It seems that after 64 years of royal service, Philip has simply decided that he has fulfilled all his royal duties, and can now relax instead.
“The Duke of Edinburgh will no longer undertake his own program of public engagements,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read. “The Captain General’s Parade will bring His Royal Highness’s individual program to a conclusion, although he may choose to attend certain events, alongside The Queen, from time to time.”
However, retired life hasn't been that simple for Prince Philip. In the first few months of his retirement, the prince was plagued with a number of health issues. He had to miss out on Prince Andrew's appointment as the new Colonel of the Granadier Guard, and suddenly canceled his attendance at the traditional Maundy church service which he was supposed to attend with the Queen in 2018. The prince also had to miss last year's Easter Sunday services, after having to go through hip replacement surgery.
This was a sweet walk down memory lane, wasn’t it? We don’t know about you guys, but we can’t wait to see baby Archie debut his first little royal wave now! Just like the rest of the royal family members, we’re sure he’ll master the skill just as quickly. We hope you enjoyed this article and share it with your friends who love everything related to the royals!