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Trooping the Colour: Security stepped up at Buckingham Palace for …

The Queen today led the nation in a minute’s silence on a sunny but sombre day amid heightened security ahead of Trooping the Colour, Her Majesty’s official birthday parade. Afterwards Her Majesty, 91 and Prince Philip, 96, travelled down The Mall from Buckingham Palace in a royal procession with a sovereign’s escort of Household Division. The royal colonels – The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and The Princess Royal – followed on horse back in the procession behind the Sovereign’s carriage.

After receiving a royal salute, she inspected her troops of the both foot guards and horse guards, and the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. This year the Irish Guards was selected to troop its colour through the ranks of guards. Sombre mood: The Queen hailed the nation’s resolve in the wake of several tragedies in recent weeks (AFP/Getty Images)

Afterwards the entire Household Division assembly marched past the Queen, who received a salute.

Other royals in carriages included the Duchess of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Duke of York rode in another carriage along with UK’s daughter, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. A major police security operation was as thousands flocked to the capital to watch the annual spectacle.

Sunny day: Crowds gather on the Mall for Trooping the Colour (Getty Images)

The Duchess of Cambridge along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte are expected to appear on the balcony at Buckingham Palace following the spectacle. Extra police are on duty around the palace to ensure the area is secure following the London and Manchester terror attacks. Huge crowds: Royal fans lined the streets (AP)

Snipers have been positioned on nearby roof tops and plain clothes officers will mingle among the crowds to bolster the uniformed police presence.

The traditional celebrations came as The Queen, ahead of the event, issued a statement saying the UK has been “resolute in the face of adversity” following recent tragedies in London and Manchester. Annual event: The Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge (Getty Images)

She said: “Today is traditionally a day of celebration . This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood.”

The Head of State released her statement on her official birthday, the day after she visited the survivors and heroes of the Grenfell Tower tragedy accompanied by Prince William.

“In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies,” Her Majesty said.

Royal colonel: The Duke of Cambridge (EPA)

“As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events.

“During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.”

The monarch visited the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital following the Manchester Arena attack in which 22 people were killed following an Ariana Grande concert. She added: “Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity. Floral print: Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie (PA)

“United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”

Trooping the Colour is an annual event that is part of the Queen s official birthday celebrations.

It begins with an impressive pageantry parade which includes her personal troops, the Household Division and Horse Guards. The Queen rides in a carriage before inspecting the troops and taking a salute from the officers and men on parade. The Queen has two birthdays – her actual birthday in April and an official birthday marked every summer by the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

Royal event: Guardsmen take part in Trooping the Colour on Horseguards Parade (REUTERS)

Today the Queen leaves Buckingham Palace accompanied by a Sovereign s escort from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. She then takes a Royal salute from officers and inspect the troops before the Regimental Colour, flag, is carried down the ranks. After Foot Guards, the Household Cavalry, The King s Troop and Royal Horse Artillery troop past, the Queen will head back to Buckingham Palace to the balcony for the Royal Air Force fly-past.

The tradition for monarchs to have two birthdays was started by George II back in 1748. George was born in November and it was felt that it was too cold to host an annual birthday parade at that time. It was decided that his birthday festivities would be combined with a military parade known as the Trooping the Colour, which was held in spring.

The Queen held a one minute silence for the victim’s of the Grenfell fire disaster (REUTERS)

Subsequent monarchs helpfully had birthdays at more convenient times of the year, but the Queen s father, King George VI, reintroduced the tradition which she has continued. The Queen has taken the salute every year since her coronation in 1953, apart from in 1955 when there was a national rail strike. The Prime Minister normally attends Trooping the Colour but Theresa May, who has faced criticism over her handling of the Grenfell Tower fire, was not seen at the event.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister is this morning chairing a cross-Government meeting to ensure everything possible is being done to support those affected by the Grenfell tragedy.

“Afterwards, she will meet a group of residents, victims, volunteers and community leaders in No 10 . The PM has sent her best wishes to HM Queen on the event of her birthday.”

From her vantage point on a dias the Queen, with Philip beside her, watched the precision marching of the Guardsmen. Four of the five Foot Guards regiments of the Household Division – the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots and Irish Guards – were on parade, but away from their ceremonial duties they are also fighting soldiers.

In total 1,600 soldiers and 244 horses from the Household Division were on parade during the ceremony and only a few weeks ago some of the servicemen were on the streets of London, supporting the Met Police on Operation Temperer in the wake of the terrorist attack in Manchester. The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards. It was first trooped in slow then in quick time past the monarch with the Guardsmen in their bearskins and scarlet tunics marching with precision movements.

In the blistering temperatures a number of soldiers fainted in the heat, with around three men taken from the parade ground after being overcome by the sweltering conditions.

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References

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  • Security breach at 7000-a-term school attended by Royals

    • Parents at the school said they repeatedly requested increased security
    • The breach could have admitted terrorists or paedophiles, a mother said
    • ‘Paying 20,000 a year to send a child there, you expect better,’ a parent said

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    A school that Royals attend on the grounds of Windsor Castle suffered a security breach yesterday when an intruder gained access while pretending to be a parent. An unknown woman was seen with pupils at St George’s School during an open morning at the exclusive 7,000-a-term establishment. After the incident, parents said that they had repeatedly requested increased security at the school but their pleas were seemingly ignored.

    An unknown woman was seen with pupils at St George’s School during an open morning at the exclusive 7,000-a-term establishment that is attended by Royals

    ‘We have repeatedly complained about the lack of security at St George’s but they don’t seem to be taking it seriously,’ a mother said last night as reported by The Sun3.

    ‘It’s shocking she could get in so easily it could have been a kidnapper, terrorist, paedophile or anything . Lessons will have to be learned . Parents will not let this lie.’

    ‘It’s shocking she could get in so easily it could have been a kidnapper, terrorist, paedophile or anything . Lessons will have to be learned . Parents will not let this lie’ a parent said

    Guilty plea: Anthony Brailsford, 69, admitted repeatedly rubbing a young boy s buttocks Another parent said: ‘This highlights an alarming lack of security . Paying 20,000 a year to send a child there, you expect better.’

    Headmaster Chris McDade confirmed to The Sun that the intruder was escorted out by staff and police were investigating the incident. Princess Eugenie is a past pupil of the school and Prince Edward’s son and daughter currently attend there. Other pupils include the choristers of St George s chapel – a place of royal worship situated behind the school in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

    The unisex day and boarding school takes pupils aged three years to 13 years. This is the second recent controversy to hit the school after a former headmaster admitted sexually assaulting boys in his Latin classes and watching others shower naked in the 1990’s. Anthony Brailsford, 69, who was acting headmaster of the school in Windsor Castle, Berkshire, admitted last year to repeatedly rubbing a young boy s buttocks.

    He received a six-month suspended prison sentence in January at Reading Crown Court for the historic abuse.

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    References

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    2. ^ View comments (www.dailymail.co.uk)
    3. ^ The Sun (www.thesun.co.uk)