Reference Library – Wales
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.
Security is being increased at concerts in Wales following the terror attacks in Manchester and London. Take That play to a sell-out crowd at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium tonight, with Robbie Williams, Justin Bieber and Coldplay taking to the stage in Cardiff over the next couple of months. Counter terrorism officers have been working with organisers at major venues across the country to ensure safety and security at upcoming events.
Police have also issued advice for concert goers . They say to arrive early to allow time for extra security checks, to be patient with searches, and to help the staff help you – they are there to make sure people are safe. They add it’s important that unnecessary items aren’t taken to the event . A number of things are banned from tonight’s Take That concert, like bottles, including perfume, large bags and umbrellas. There’s also a reminder for everyone to remain vigilant .
Event attendees are being encouraged to report people acting suspiciously and suspect items. There are a number of key music and sporting events in South Wales in the coming weeks which will attract large crowds . We will continue to work with the organisers and review our response to these events depending on the intelligence and information which we receive.
Our priority is to maintain a visible and reassuring presence in our communities and we will continue to provide the response the public would expect in order to keep them safe. People going to these events will see both unarmed and overtly armed officers on patrol and we will also be using tactics which are not obvious to the public but are designed to keep them safe.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis, South Wales Police
Though the chance of being caught in a terrorism incident is small, the police say, if something does happen, it’s vital to listen to staff and any announcements . Organisers will have emergency plans in place to keep everyone safe.
An IBM guard responded and suffered hand and arm injuries when challenging the pair, who are believed to have left the area on foot.
“At this stage nothing has been reported stolen.
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