The Royal Guards were out in force to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday with the traditional “Trooping the Colour” ceremony, but it was not without incident. One poor guardsman couldn’t take the strain and passed out in full view of the Royal family and onlookers on Saturday.
As part of the official birthday weekend, Queen Elizabeth was seen to be wearing a vivid green outfit as the royal family enjoyed the celebration, along with Princess Anne, Prince Charles (Prince of Wales), Catherine (Duchess of Cambridge), Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Prince William (Duke of Cambridge), Prince Harry, and Prince Philip, among other royals.
The family is pictured top on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. In that image, the family is watching a spectacular aerial performance by the Red Arrow pilots, who formed a triangular formation of red, white, and blue smoke in the sky above the palace.
— Mike Warner (@mw37) June 11, 2016
The royal family was joined by the Duke of York and his daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. British Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife, Samantha, were among the thousands of spectators at the ceremony.
The event is the annual birthday parade for Queen Elizabeth II, and the ceremony dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th century when the colors of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle.
As reported by the Guardian, the streets were filled with the Coldstream, Grenadier, and Scots Guards, and the Irish Guards lined the Queen’s processional route from Buckingham Palace to the Horse Guards Parade, which is reportedly Henry VIII’s former jousting yard.
However, while everyone was watching the annual parade at the Horse Guards in Whitehall, London, one of the Guardsmen, possibly overwhelmed by the excitement, fainted and fell flat on his face at center stage and in front of everyone.
As reported by the Mirror, the guardsman’s colleagues immediately rallied around to help the unfortunate man, and they lifted him on to a stretcher before taking him away, all while the royal family was watching.
— Anne King (@inthemedia1) June 11, 2016
His other colleagues stood firm and stony-faced, however, and kept in formation.
According to the royal family’s official Twitter account, there were over 1,400 officers and men on parade, together with 200 horses. There were also more than 400 musicians involved in the celebration.
Reportedly, the soldiers were joined by a band of Chelsea pensioners, and earlier in the day, the Coldstream Guards band played a special rendition of a happy birthday song for Queen Elizabeth.
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 11, 2016
On a fun note, the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, wished Her Majesty a happy birthday by posting a photo of himself celebrating the Queen’s Silver Jubilee at the age of 6. Khan said that the Queen’s service to the country has been “extraordinary.”
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) June 11, 2016
This year, the “Trooping the Colour” parade in Whitehall was a special one, as it honored Queen Elizabeth II as the longest reigning and oldest monarch in British history, celebrating her ties with the British armed forces.
Besides honoring the Queen’s birthday, “Trooping the Colour” is also, reportedly, an important social event for the guardsmen and gives their wives, girlfriends, and other relatives a chance to celebrate their achievements and enjoy the colorful spectacle.
[Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images]