Sophie Wessex was pretty in pink today as she made her appearance alongside other senior royals in London as the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee kicked off this morning.
Donning a custom made gingham coat dress by Suzannah in certified sustainable cloth, and a matching hat, the Countess looked delighted to be marking the monarch’s milestone and she rode in a carriage alongside Prince Edward.
The 57-year-old royal is married to the monarch’s youngest son Edward, 58, with whom she shares children Lady Louise Windsor, 18, and James, Viscount Severn, 14.
She is one of the members of the Firm taking part in this morning’s Queen’s Birthday Parade, the first official Platinum Jubilee event of the bank holiday weekend.
Sophie was spotted riding in a carriage with her husband and children, waving at the crowds as they travelled from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to the parade ground.
Sophie Wessex, 57, was snapped riding in a carriage alongside husband Edward, and their children Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn
The royal was seen waving to the crowds as she rode in a carriage during the Trooping the Colour parade this morning, accompanied by her family
The 57-year-old was seen beaming as she acknowledged the large crowds, waving to the people who had made their way to central London to watch the parade
The couple’s children, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn, were photographed alongside their parents, with Lady Louise also donning pink, while her brother opted for a smart black suit
An aerial shot of the Wessex family, showing Sophie, Edward, and their two children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn, as they travel in a horse-drawn carriage during the Queen’s Birthday Parade
The Wessex carriage was the second of three that left the forecourt of Buckingham Palace carrying members of the Royal Family down The Mall this morning, with the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, riding alongside Kate Middleton, 40, and her children in the first carriage.
Louis sat between his older siblings George and Charlotte in a carriage, with Kate and Camilla sat opposite. The children, who were dressed in a light blue, navy and white colour scheme, waved to the crowds – and at one point Charlotte appeared to push Louis’s hand down, while the Princess squinted in the sunshine as the carriage left.
The third carriage was ridden by the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, while Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne rode on horses during the traditional carriage procession.
Meanwhile, the Queen left Windsor Castle this morning, travelling by car as she headed to Buckingham Palace.
It comes as Prince Harry and Meghan are set to join senior royals at an official engagement for the first time in more than two years. The Sussexes are also set to bring along three-year-old Archie and Lilibet, nearly one, for the public family reunion – and the children are likely to meet their cousins George, Charlotte and Louis at last.
Lilibet has never been introduced to her royal relatives, while Archie has not been in the UK since he was six months old. But there is no invitation for shamed Prince Andrew even in a private capacity after his fall from grace.
The Queen’s Birthday Parade at Horse Guards in London is the first official Platinum Jubilee event of the bank holiday weekend, with Her Majesty set to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony for the RAF flypast at 1pm.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince Louis all shared a carriage ride today
Kate Middleton, 40, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, also took carriage rides during the event, alongside the three Cambridge children
Kate Middleton wore a £3,000 Alexander McQueen blazer dress, paired with sapphire and diamond earrings previously worn by Diana, Princess of Wales, and a white hat for today’s festivities
Prince George, eight, Prince Louis, four, and Princess Charlotte, seven, waved at crowds while they took part in the carriage procession at Trooping the Colour
Prince Louis sat next to his big sister Princess Charlotte, as the pair took a carriage ride from Buckingham Palace down The Mall earlier today
Eight-year-old Prince George, third in line to the throne, looked smart in a navy two-piece suit, worn with a crisp white shirt and a periwinkle blue tie
Princess Charlotte was photographed squinting in the bright sunshine as she rode in a carriage during the Queen’s Birthday Parade this morning, as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations kicked off
Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester and Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester were photographed as they rode in the third carriage that left the forecourt of Buckingham Palace carrying members of the Royal Family down The Mall this morning
While other senior members of the Firm travelled to Buckingham Palace by carriage or on horseback, Her Majesty was seen leaving Windsor Castle and travelling to central London by car this morning
Her Majesty was accompanied by her lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey (pictured, left) as she made her way to Buckingham Palace for the first day of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend this morning
Thousands of people draped in Union Jack flags, party hats and plastic tiaras lined The Mall in the warm sunshine today. Some of those at the front brought camping chairs, having arrived over the past few days to get the best spot, and spirits were high as members of the public chatted and joked with police maintaining the perimeter.
However, police then swooped on four intruders tried to smash through security on The Mall. Two of the protesters – who were from Animal Rebellion – were able to sit in the middle of the road as the marching band approached. Officers hauled them out of the way as the musicians walked by them, avoiding them completely.
According to Animal Rebellion, the activists were protesting against the use of crown lands for hunting, as well as the ‘crown’s inaction on the climate emergency and their continued support for meat, fishing, and dairy’.
The Irish Guards were among the first to arrive at a march at Horse Guards Parade this morning in front of the sitting crowds in the bright sunshine, led by their mascot, an Irish Wolfhound called Seamus. And as huge crowds descended on the capital to witness the historic weekend, police and park authorities said the areas were full.
The Metropolitan Police said: ‘The viewing areas in central London for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are now full. To avoid the disappointment of not being able to enter the viewing areas please avoid the area.’
And the Royal Parks added: ‘Crowds have flocked to St James’s Park for Trooping the Colour and public viewing areas are now at full capacity. Please do not head to St James’s Park but enjoy the Jubilee celebrations elsewhere.’
Protestors from Animal Rebellion were arrested after jumping over the barriers and in front of the parade. According to the environmental advocacy organisation, the campaigners were protesting against the use of crown lands for hunting, as well as the ‘crown’s inaction on the climate emergency and their continued support for meat, fishing, and dairy’
Police wrested the activists to the ground, pinning them to the ground and pulling them out of the way of the marching band
Meanwhile the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said in a tweet on their official account this morning: ‘We’re looking forward to celebrating and seeing how you’re joining us in marking this #PlatinumJubilee weekend.’
While the full extent Queen’s involvement in the celebrations is yet unknown, due to her recent mobility issues, we are expected to see the monarch three times during today’s events.
Her Majesty is expected to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony at 12.20pm during Trooping the Colour.
Next, she is set to share the balcony with working royals for the RAF flypast at 1pm.
For her third appearance today, Her Majesty will reportedly attend the lighting of the principal beacon – a 21-metre Tree of Trees sculpture at the Palace.
Huge crowds gathered on Whitehall this morning, as members of the public headed to central London, in a bid to spot members of the Royal Family
Royal fans were snapped watching the Royal Procession down The Mall as the Platinum Jubilee celebrations kicked off in London this morning
The Queen is the first British monarch in history to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee.
Millions across the country are gearing up to take to the streets for parties and national commemorations held in in her honour during the special extended bank holiday weekend.
The Queen, who at the age of 96 has mobility problems, returned to her Windsor Castle home with her dogs on Tuesday after a pre-Jubilee a break at Balmoral as she paces herself ahead of the four days of festivities.
Her flight back to London was forced to abort a landing when her 13-seater plane was caught in lightning storm.
The commemorations kick-start with the traditional Trooping the Colour military spectacle on Thursday, involving more than 1,500 officers and soldiers and 350 horses from the Household Division.
But the Queen’s attendance is only likely to be confirmed this morning, with royal fans hoping to see her appear on the balcony with her family for a special flypast, and possibly even review the troops.
In the evening, more than 3,000 beacons will be set ablaze across the UK and the Commonwealth in tribute to the Queen, with the principal Tree of Trees beacon illuminated outside the Palace.
There will be no ceremonial journey to the service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral for the Queen on Friday June 3, and the monarch, if she attends, will use a different entrance rather than scaling the steep steps.
And the Queen’s planned visit to Epsom for the Derby on Saturday is off, with members of the royal family attending on her behalf.
Saturday is also the first birthday of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter Lilibet, amid speculation the Queen will get to meet her namesake for the first time and possibly attend her christening when Harry and Meghan fly back for the Jubilee.
In the evening, the BBC’s Party at the Palace – set on three stages in front of Buckingham Palace – will entertain a live crowd of 22,000 people and a television audience of millions.
The line-up includes Diana Ross, Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Nile Rodgers, Andrea Bocelli, Duran Duran, Bond composer Hans Zimmer, Ella Eyre, Craig David, Mabel, Elbow and George Ezra.
Charles and William are preparing to deliver public tributes at the concert to the Queen, who is due to be watching on television from Windsor.
On Sunday, millions will gather for patriotic street parties, picnics and barbecues, with more than 85,000 Big Jubilee Lunches being held across the UK.
The finale is the Jubilee Pageant through the streets of London, with a cast of 6,000 performers and close to 200 celebrities joining the carnival procession.
It is hoped the monarch will make a final appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony to round off the weekend to see Ed Sheeran singing the national anthem with a choir made up of Britain’s ‘national treasures’.