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Sophie’s sweet gesture as Trooping the Colour ended shows how united the Royal Family remain

It was a simple action that lasted a matter of moments and yet the sweet gesture of the Duchess of Edinburgh to her nephew, the Prince of Wales, has won plenty of hearts.

As Sophie and William walked off the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the flypast which brought Trooping the Colour to a close. the Duchess put her hand on the shoulder of the heir to the throne. It rested there just seconds but its meaning was clear to see. It was a moment of reassurance, of support and of proud happiness.

The Duchess of Edinburgh travelled to Trooping with the Duke of Kent (Royal Family/ X/ still/ fair use)

It had been a long and emotional morning for the Royal Family. King Charles had attended the long and demanding ceremony of his official Birthday Parade as he continues treatment for cancer. At times, The King appeared almost overcome with the sentiment of the event and there were clearly tears in his eyes as the huge crowd sang the National Anthem as he stood on the Palace balcony.

The Prince of Wales had ridden on horseback for the ceremony, alongside his uncle, the Duke of Edinburgh, and his aunt, the Princess Royal. But there was far more for Prince William to think about on this special day.

The Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal ride out for Trooping the Colour (BBC still/ fair use)

For the first time since announcing she was being treated for cancer, the Princess of Wales appeared in public. Catherine rode to Trooping with her three children and looked overjoyed to be out and about with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

The Princess was seen watching the parade from a balcony overlooking Horse Guards Parade. No doubt, the Prince of Wales gave a few glances her way as the impressive pageantry of this centuries old tradition unfolded. Catherine had issued a statement just hours before saying she had ”good days and bad days” and her health remains her husband’s main concern. However, it was clear that Trooping was a good day.

The Princess of Wales clearly enjoyed every moment of Trooping the Colour (BBC still/ fair use)

And there was more reassurance for William. For by Catherine’s side throughout the ceremony was the Duchess of Edinburgh. Sophie and her daughter, Lady Louise, stood with the Princess and her children for the whole parade, enjoying this time as an extended family.

The Duchess of Edinburgh is clearly there for all her relations at this demanding time. As the Royal Family returned to Buckingham Palace, The King took to a dais in the pouring rain to salute his troops once more. And it was Sophie who led member of the family onto the balcony to watch. As the rain continued to fall, the Duchess remained outside to show her support to The King and his military.

The Duchess of Edinburgh in the pouring rain to watch King Charles take the salute at Buckingham Palace (BBC still/ fair use)

Sophie was at Queen Camilla’s side for the main balcony appearance when the House of Windsor enjoyed a flypast that, fortunately, took place just as the weather began to clear. Under ever brightening skies, a series of spectacular planes roared overhead before the spectacular display of the Red Arrows brought a morning to remember to a close.

And as the Royal Family headed back inside, Sophie strolled alongside Prince William who had spent an anxious few hours where the health of his wife and his father as well as the wellbeing of his children had been on his mind alongside his military and royal duties. As he walked off the balcony, his back now to the crowd, it was Sophie who offered a moment of support. A hand on the shoulder that said ”well done” and ”you made it”.

”You did it” – Sophie’s sweet gesture for the Prince of Wales (BBC still. fair use)

It was a touching moment that summed up a day which is already one of the most pivotal in the modern story of the House of Windsor.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton who is a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. Her latest book, A History of British Royal Jubilees, is out now. Her new book, The Mysterious Death of Katherine Parr, will be published in March 2024. June is an award winning reporter, producer and editor. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.