HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AGAIN: Festivities for Queen Elizabeth II took place Saturday to mark the British monarch’s official birthday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, joined other members of the royal family at the annual Trooping the Colour parade in London. The sovereign’s actual birthday falls on April 21.
Ahead of the parade, the Queen released a statement that addressed the terrorist attacks in Manchester and London Bridge, and the fire at Grenfell Tower, an apartment block in West London that killed scores of residents, including children.
“Today is traditionally a day of celebration. This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very somber national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies.
“As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events. During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.
“Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity. United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favor, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”
Earlier this week, the duchess visited victims of the London terror attack at King’s College Hospital.
George and Charlotte — the youngest royals — joined the royal family later that day and stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The annual parade route runs from Buckingham Palace, down The Mall, along Horse Guards Parade then to nearby Whitehall.
Last year, the country celebrated Britain’s longest-reigning monarch in myriad ways including lunch with President Obama and Michelle Obama and a ticketed picnic for the public.
On Friday, the duchess traveled to East London to attend the 1851 Trust road show. The 1851 Trust is the official charity of Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing, the British America’s Cup team. A patron of the trust, the duchess took part in the charity’s Land Rover Bar Roadshow held at the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre. The road show focuses on inspiring students to study science, technology, engineering and math with sessions created to engage young people.