According to an official Buckingham Palace release, posted just hours before her birthday celebration, Trooping the Colour, commenced, Queen Elizabeth announced that in light of the recent tragedies in London and in Manchester, that she would have a more “somber” event.
Yesterday, the Queen, and her grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, went to the Westway Sports Centre, close to the location of what was left of the Grenfell Tower. Prince William and Queen Elizabeth spoke to the volunteers, and those who were affected by the unfathomable tragedy. Clad in regal purple, the Queen spoke of her pride at how quickly so many came out to help those affected by the fire.
The pair had arrived to cheers and clapping, showing appreciation for the royal visit. According to the Telegraph, the Queen was visibly moved by what she saw, and who she met, and was often close to tears.
It was clear that these recent visits were on her mind as she wrote her statement. She expressed her grief over the tragedies, prayed for those affected by the tragedies, and expressed pride on how the country has worked together to help others in need.
The Queen privately celebrated the actual day of her birth on April 21, when she turned 91. She also celebrates every year in June, this year on June 17, on her “official” birthday, known as The Queen’s Birthday Parade.
This tradition began by George II in 1748. Because the weather was too cold for a parade, during his November birthday, he created the official celebration day. This was combined with the military day, known as Trooping the Colour, which was the annual spring parade honoring the military. This tradition has continued for hundreds of years.
Queen Elizabeth II used to always hold her birthday celebration on a Thursday, but later made the change to Saturday, so that more people could attend.
Trooping the Colour is a very festive event, with most of the royal family riding carriages, while Prince William and his father, Prince Charles walking in military attire, along with the troops who are waving the color of the United Kingdom.
Despite still going along with the events of the day, there is no doubt that the recent Grenfell Tower fire still weighs heavy on the Queen and Prince William.
Yesterday both the Queen, and Prince William spoke to many. William was heard saying, “That’s one of the most terrible things I have ever seen.” He also spoke about the shock and trauma that those in the fire experienced, as well as the brave fire crew, and what the local witnesses saw.
He was told by one local resident, Loubna Aghzafi, who stated that only some have spoken of what they saw. Others, are still unable to share their stories, or what they witnessed. William’s response was, “They may want to eventually. They must talk about it.”
An advocate for mental wellbeing, Prince William, who along with his wife, Kate Middleton, and brother, Prince Harry, recently created their mental health program called Heads Together.
On Thursday, the trio were some of the first to donate money to the fund, set up to help the victims of this horrific fire. They were hoping to inspire others to do the same. Millions of pounds have been donated to help the victims, who lost everything they owned.
What are your thoughts about a more somber Trooping the Colour? Do you think the Queen should have canceled the celebration, or do you think this is important for the public
[Featured Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]