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Prince Charles and CamillaPrincess Anne and FamilyThe Cambridges

Why did Prince Charles and Prince William wear green sashes at Trooping the Colour?

The ladies of the Royal Family might’ve garnered the most headlines for what they wore to the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Thursday, but if you paid attention to what the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Princess Royal were wearing, you’d unlock a treasure trove of heraldry and history.

The trio of royals who took the salute at Horse Guards at Guildhall wore distinctly different ribands and badges on Thursday than they’d normally wear at Trooping the Colour, and the reason comes down to the calendar date of this year’s ceremony.

The Queen’s coronation anniversary date, 2 June, is considered a Collar Day, meaning that on this day, the collar insignia of some British orders can be worn. The collar itself is a heavy metal link chain that is worn over the shoulder.

On Collar Days, members of specific royal orders of knighthood must wear the collar of their highest order. For Prince Charles, Prince William and Princess Anne, that is the collar of the Order of the Garter.

The distinctive green ribands worn on Thursday are the ribands of the Order of the Thistle, and the royals wore these because on Collar Days, you cannot wear both the collar and the riband of the same order; you must wear the riband of your next highest order.

The royal orders of knighthood that are bound to follow this tradition are the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Thistle, and the Knights Grand Cross of orders including the Order of the Bath, the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, the Order of the British Empire, and the Royal Victorian Order.

Other Collar Days include specific religious holidays like Christmas, Easter and Epiphany, Accession Day (6 February), The Queen’s birthday (21 April), the date of the Restoration of the Royal Family (29 May), the Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday (10 June), the Queen Mother’s birthday (4 August), and Coronation Day, among others.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.