Trooping the Colour 2017

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Where to begin – the children, the dress or the Queen? I guess the Queen since she’s the one running the show here. For those unfamiliar with the ceremony, Trooping the Colour is an annual military ceremony that also officially commemorates the sovereign’s birthday. Each year the Queen and members of the Royal Family travel down the Mall and the Queen inspects her troops. Generally framed as a joyful celebration of national pride, this year’s was a bit more solemn.

The Queen issued a statement this morning acknowledging recent incidents in London and Manchester, which seems fitting in light of what the UK has been dealing with for the last few months now:

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This year, the Colour being trooped is that of the 1st Battalion Irish Guard. The ceremony plays out on Horse Guards Parade, the old jousting yard of Henry VIII. The event is typically attended by the Prime Minister, but Theresa May missed this year to visit Grenfell Tower following criticism that she had not already done so.

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Now, for the RF. Given the importance of this ceremony on the military calendar and the RF’s relationship with the armed forces, it should therefore be unsurprising that they play a role in the event. While most certainly the Queen’s day, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Cambridge rode horses in full dress and bearskin hats, while other members of the family rode in open carriages.

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The Duchess of Cambridge wore a custom-tailored, bright pink Alexander McQueen dress and a Jane Taylor hat, presumably dyed to match. But the real stars of the show were her children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

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This is George’s third Trooping and Charlotte’s second. They were spotted peeking out behind the curtains inside Buckingham Palace before the family walked out on the balcony and seemed animated as they watched the ceremony unfold – not surprising given the intersection of colors, sounds, music and cheering.

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As for Kate’s fashion, I will say that I liked she went a cheerful route and chose a bright color instead of another white coat dress. I’m generally a fan when she puts her hair up for these more formal occasions, particularly given I would imagine it can get fairly windy on a balcony and now that she’s toting two kids it’s simply got to be easier to not have to manage her hair falling out of place.

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That said, this particular shade of pink struck me as a little Pepto Bismal, but that may have had something to do with how much of it there is.

I think this dress and its color worked well in its original cut – the sleeveless design and the shorter skirt gave it a fun, youthful, retro vibe. The pleated neckline and long sleeves that Kate debuted felt over the top to me – just a tad too much pink.

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But I’m willing to cut her some slack when she tries something new, and while Kate has worn a fair amount of pale pink over the years, this darker hue is new. Kate, like the rest of us, tends to rely on brands and styles that are tried and true, and while that’s understandable it can also get a tad boring. So three cheers for branching out and I hope somewhere in her closet she’s purchased the younger, fun version of this dress for her personal life.

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