Queen Elizabeth celebrates official birthday with military parade

Story highlights

  • Prince George appears on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the fly-past
  • The queen's official birthday is marked by the Trooping of the Colour
  • Catherine makes her first public appearance since Princess Charlotte was born

London (CNN)Queen Elizabeth II marked her official birthday Saturday with a spectacular military parade and awards for actors, sportsmen and sportswomen, business leaders and community workers.

The queen's actual birthday is on April 21 -- when the British monarch this year turned 89. But in line with tradition, her birthday is also celebrated on a summer Saturday when the weather is likely to be better for the parade, known as Trooping the Colour.
The queen was joined by her husband, Prince Philip, and other members of the royal family for the ceremony in central London, led this year by the Welsh Guards.
    Prince William, left, appears at the 1984 Trooping of Colour with his father Prince Charles. More than twenty years later a similarly dressed Prince George appears and the 2015 Trooping of Colour held by Prince William.
    After the parade, the queen joined other members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for a flypast by the Royal Air Force.
    At that point, Prince George, now a month from his second birthday, stole the show as he made his first balcony appearance in the arms of his father, Prince William.
    His mother, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, earlier made her first public appearance since the birth of Princess Charlotte on May 2, riding in a carriage with Prince Harry and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
    The queen's first Trooping the Colour was in 1953, shortly after her coronation.