Why Meghan Markle's Appearance at Trooping the Colour This Year Is So Significant:
This first public appearance by the Duchess of Sussex since giving birth to baby Archie less than five weeks ago cements the importance of Trooping the Colour as a key event in the royal family calendar.
Meghan is taking a break from official duties following the birth of her son but joined her husband and other royals to honor the 93-year-old Queen in her annual official birthday parade. It is the first time she has been seen since posing for images two days after Archie was born.
The parade comes with much pomp and pageantry—some 1,400 soldiers, 400 musicians, and almost 300 horses took part—but at heart, it is a family affair. Meghan’s attendance indicates that she clearly very much wanted to be there and that she and Harry felt this was something they could make work at this early stage in their baby’s life.
Meghan and Harry pose with Baby Archie, introducing the newborn the world.
There is no word from the royal household on who is looking after little Archie and has not been confirmed what, if any, help the Sussexes are currently receiving with childcare. However, if they have brought their son to Buckingham Palace it means he could be meeting his cousins for the first time while the parade takes place.
That said, unlike some of his older cousins, Archie is not expected to make an appearance on the balcony with the family to watch the spectacular flypast from the Royal Air Force’s the Red Arrows.
Of course, the fact that Meghan’s attendance at a public event comes just a few days after President Trump’s State Visit that she did not take part in will inevitably lead some to question whether she could also have joined royals at events during his trip. However, a royal source has pointed out that the Duchess is “still on maternity leave and will be for the rest of the summer” adding that Trooping The Colour is very much a “family moment.” Indeed, there is a point to be made that attending an event with members of her family is somewhat different from resuming the weight of official diplomatic duties.
The Duchess of Cambridge made her first appearance following the birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015 at Trooping the Colour. The annual event would also have been her first public appearance following Prince Louis’ birth in 2018 were in not for the fact she was seen at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May beforehand.
The Queen takes part in the Trooping the Colour Parade on horseback in 1983.
It goes without saying that the Queen has never missed a parade throughout her reign—although the whole event was canceled in 1955 due to a rail strike. She attended the ceremony on horseback until 1987 when she arrived by carriage for the first time.
Trooping is also one of the rare occasions that royal children tend to attend earlier than other public family outings. While Archie is still too young at just five weeks, George and Charlotte both appeared on the palace balcony during Trooping for the first time before they were two years old, following in the footsteps of William and Harry and Prince Charles who were similar ages.
Contrast this with, for example, appearing at church at Sandringham on Christmas morning, where five-year-old Prince George has yet to be seen publicly. Trooping the Colour has marked the Official Birthday of the British Sovereign for more than 260 years. It has been held in June since the reign of King Edward VII, the Queen’s great-grandfather. His birthday was in November but he moved the parade to June to take advantage of nicer weather.
*This article originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com
*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors