Why Prince Harry Doesn’t Ride Horseback In Trooping The Colour Parade

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex speaks during the annual Founder's Day
Heathcliff O'Malley / Getty Images

Nothing in the Trooping the Colour parade is left up to chance, and everyone’s place is based on tradition for the celebration of the birthday of the monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

Town & Country says that with Duchess Meghan making her official first appearance since the birth of Archie Harrison, some assumed that Prince Harry rode with her in a horse-drawn carriage as a show of support, but this is not the case, as his role was actually determined by his military rank.

Even though they are brothers and both princes, Prince William was on horseback, along with his father, Prince Charles, wearing the traditional bearskin hat, while Prince Harry rode in a carriage without the headgear iconic to the Queen’s guard. The difference comes down to the fact that Prince Charles, Prince William, and also Princess Anne hold the rank of royal colonel, says royal expert Diana Pearl.

“Prince William and Prince Charles are royal colonels, which is a position given by the Queen to a member of the royal family that serves as Colonel-in-Chief of a regiment in the British army or navy.”

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are also royal colonels, but haven’t ridden on horseback in the parade in years due to their age.

Pearl adds that all of Queen Elizabeth’s children hold this honor, but Prince William is the only one of his generation thus far to be given the title.

“In addition to William and Charles, Prince Philip, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward are all royal colonels, as is the Queen herself, and a number of other royal cousins, like the Duke of Kent and The Duke of Gloucester.”

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Princess Anne and Princes Charles, William, and Andrew always ride on horseback on such occasions, specifically because they are Colonels of the Household Division.

While Archie Harrison will wait until next year to make his first appearance at the Trooping the Colour parade, Prince Louis made his debut this year with enthusiasm. Prince George and Princess Charlotte made their official debut at the event just after their first birthday, and Prince Louis followed suit, appearing with his mother, Kate Middleton, says The Inquisitr.

Prince Louis had previously only been seen in still photographs, but this will be the first time that he is featured with the rest of his family on the balcony for an official event with his grandfather and great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.