Trooping the Colour Was a Moment of Joy Amidst a Difficult Time for the Royal Family

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Trooping Was a Moment of Joy for the RoyalsChris Jackson - Getty Images

There was torrential rain, even a few thunderstorms and a small but prominent anti-monarchy protest. But nothing could distract from the buzz around Kate Middleton’s appearance today as she stepped out officially for the first time this year at Trooping the Colour.

People began to gather along the Mall from several hours before the event, braving the constantly changeable weather to get a good spot to see the royals process in carriages between Buckingham Palace and Horseguards Parade. Republican protesters with large yellow signs saying "Not my King" took up a position on the corner of the Mall near to the media. However, their chants were drowned out when the two carriages—one with the King and Queen and another with Kate, George, Charlotte and Louis came past.

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Protesters from the anti-monarchy group Republic held signs outside Buckingham Palace during today’s event.JUSTIN TALLIS - Getty Images

While the ceremony was taking place at Horseguards Parade, some of the most torrential rain London has seen in months came down along with strong winds and a bit of thunder and lightning. At one stage, the crowds appeared as a sea of umbrellas. But, despite the weather, supporters and protesters alike stayed the course for the big moment when the royals appeared on the Palace balcony. As they did so, to watch the dramatic flypast of more than 30 military aircraft including the iconic Red Arrows, a huge cheer went up. Some people were shouting God Save The King.

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The Wales family watch the flypast from the balcony.Karwai Tang - Getty Images

“She was waving and Kate looked so beautiful in that hat,” crowd-member Judy Nosworthy, who is on vacation from Florida, said. “She looks good. It was good to see her, having not seen her for a while..I wanted to wish her well.”Helen from north London described the military spectacle as “incredible” and said she was “so grateful that Kate could make it…That’s really touching for me because our own family have had a [cancer] battle…To come down and to acknowledge that both the King and Kate have had something. It’s just so nice to see a family united together, I think it’s very important for the country.”

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Kate waves at the crowd during today’s Trooping the Colour parade.Neil Mockford - Getty Images

It was clear that many members of the public were excited to see Kate but also full of compassion for her to take the time she needs to return to public life. The message that Kensington Palace is keen to get across - that this appearance does not mark a full return to public duties - seemed to have resonated with many in the crowd today.

In a touching letter yesterday, Kate said that she is “not out of the woods yet” and that she has “good days and bad days.” She has made it clear that she hopes to carry out some public duties in the next few months, but nothing has been announced yet.

In turn, the King—who far from being disgruntled that the attention was on his daughter in law at his birthday parade was in fact delighted that she could attend—was also making a public appearance while still receiving treatment for cancer. He has been back in the spotlight for some time now, notably leading the nation in commemorations for the D-Day anniversary. However, like Kate, his treatment continues and there remains a question mark over what both of their timetables can look like in the near future and beyond.

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King Charles and Camilla wave to the crowds from the Buckingham Palace balcony.Chris Jackson - Getty Images

Yet after what has been a very difficult time for the family, both personally and professionally, Trooping the Colour was today a moment of celebration. The sun even came out when the royals appeared on the balcony. At one stage the band played Somewhere Over The Rainbow. Amidst uncertainty, it felt like a day to be joyful.

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