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June 16, 2012 / Stephanie Vermillion

Trooping the Colour: Celebrating Her Majesty’s birthday in royal fashion.

Given the choice between staying cooped up inside working on school projects or participating in a royal family celebration, I can guarantee you every single time I’ll choose the royal option. Especially when it’s Trooping the Colour, celebrating my favorite Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday.

Trooping the Colour, London, England

So Carolyn, my fellow royal-fam fan, and I braved the early Saturday morning crowd and walked over to the Horse Guards Parade to get a good view for the day’s ceremonies. And that early-morning motivation definitely paid off. I was closer to the Queen and her royal family (including a healthy Prince Philip!) than I ever have been, and most likely ever will be, in my life. And — to perfectly top off this ceremonial morning — we had sunshine for almost the entire day!

For those unfamiliar with Trooping the Colour (don’t worry, I was too until Carolyn came to the rescue with in-depth details on Friday), it’s an annual ceremony that celebrates the Queen’s birthday (although her birthday is technically April 21-Taurus pride!) and the tradition dates back to the 17th century under Charles II.

As part of the ceremony, the Queen rides down from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade to inspect her troops and selects the regiment next in line to troop its colours (if you’d like a better history lesson, here’s the Trooping the Colour website). According to the kind, knowledgeable English lady next to me, the Irish regiment will troop its colours now through next June’s ceremonies.

So, per usual, waking up in the early hours of the morning for Her Majesty didn’t fail me. And now that I’ve celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Birthday, I’m in a fairytale, English heaven that I’ve been fortunate enough to capture on film — twice! But, I do apologize in advance, royal family: Living the fairytale dream really brings out the paparazzi in me, especially with my mom’s gift of a second, long-lasting camera battery.

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