Queen Elizabeth II appears on palace balcony for Platinum Jubilee

The royal party has begun!

With a familiar swirl of military color, precision and horsemanship, Britain kicked off Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations with the Trooping the Color parade that saw the 96-year-old monarch appear – twice – for the first time in years on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Dressed in a pale blue coat dress and hat, holding a cane and wearing shaded glasses, the queen looked happy and well, and even chatted to one of her great-grandchildren as she stood on the balcony.

She appeared first with one of her royal cousins, the Duke of Kent, to take the salute of her troops, and then with her extended family of “working royals” as 70 RAF jets roared overhead in the traditional end of the Trooping parade.

Queen Elizabeth II watches from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Color parade on June 2, 2022 in London, kicking off her Platinum Jubilee marking her 70 years on the throne.  Known as the Queen's Birthday Parade, Trooping is a military ceremony performed by regiments of the British Army that dates from the mid-17th century.

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Fighter jets flew in formation to create the number ’70’ in the sky over the palace, acknowledging the queen’s unprecedented 70 years on her throne.

Also for the first time, the queen “took the salute” from the balcony as ranks of scarlet-clad mounted and marching British soldiers passed below and huge crowds of people on The Mall shouted and cheered their affection for their long-serving “Platinum Queen . “

On the balcony, the queen acknowledged the salute with her cousin, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, 86, (both are descendants of King George V), who stood very tall in his military uniform next to the diminutive queen.

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Kent watch from the balcony of Buckingham Place after the Trooping the Color ceremony in London, Thursday, June 2, 2022, on the first of four days of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee.

Since the death of her husband, Prince Philip, last year, the duke is the senior male royal of the queen’s generation and has occasionally stood in for her at official events.

The queen was wearing the same outfit she was wearing in her official Platinum Jubilee portrait photo released Wednesday: A coat and dress in a dusky dove-blue fabric of wool Charmelaine embellished with pearl and diamond trim around the neckline and cascading down the front of the coat, plus a matching hat. The outfit was created by her longtime designer, dresser and close aide, Angela Kelly.

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