Every year, Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royal family cram onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping of the Colour. The centuries-old ceremony on the second Saturday of June marks her "second" official birthday.
The monarch was actually born on April 21, but the postponed pomp and circumstance takes place in a month with better weather. The delay makes for a much better party. Besides the appearance at the palace, key members of the House of Windsor also appear in a carefully choreographed parade — and no one wants to ride in a carriage in cold, pouring rain.
Today, Queen Elizabeth sat alone in an equipage; her husband Prince Philip did not attend after recently undergoing hip surgery. Three other carriages held the rest of the group, but Prince Charles and Prince William were noticeably absent.
The Duchess of Cambridge and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall rode together in matching pale-blue outfits today. Prince Harry has joined Kate and Camilla in the past, including at Kate's very first Trooping the Colour in 2011, but he had another companion today.
The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex (a.k.a. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) got their own carriage in the procession. The newlyweds just returned from their mystery honeymoon earlier this week.
The next carriage transported Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, their aunt Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and their cousin, Lady Louise Windsor. Princess Eugenie is marrying Jack Brooksbank this fall, but only members of the immediate family get to participate in this part of the ceremony. (Prince George and Princess Charlotte will likely join the procession too once they get older!)
While that accounts for many members of the family, where were Prince Charles and Prince William? If you have a good eye, you might have been able to spot them. The future kings joined Princess Anne and Prince Andrew on horseback, trotting behind the Queen.
There's a reason why they don't sit in the carriages though, and it's not because they preferred to go for a ride. (In noted equestrian Princess Anne's case, she might have, though!)
All four have ceremonial roles as colonels of the Household Division. The group includes the most elite, senior units of the British army. Even the Queen's youngest son Prince Edward doesn't have one of these prestigious titles.
Prince William was dressed in the ceremonial uniform for the Irish Guards, the same ensemble he wore for his wedding. He's the Colonel of the Regiment, a.k.a. the second in command after the Queen.
Prince Charles has racked up many honorary military appointments over the years, and he's previously worn the uniform reflecting his role as Colonel of the Welsh Guards.
So what about Prince Harry? Even though he served in active duty in Afghanistan, he's not a colonel yet. The Duke of Sussex wore his dress uniform reflecting his rank as Major in the Blues and Royals (a cavalry regiment in the Household Division), which he also wore at his wedding. However, Princess Anne actually serves as the colonel of that group, which is why she rode behind the Queen on horseback.
The monarch herself also during the Trooping of the Colour as the Head of the Armed Forces, but has recently opted for a more comfortable transportation. She did just turn 92, after all!