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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 June, 2005, 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK
Camilla in Palace balcony debut
Prince William, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles on balcony
The Duchess took her place in the traditional balcony line-up
The Duchess of Cornwall has stood on the famous Buckingham Palace balcony for the first time after taking part in the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

She took her place between Prince Charles and stepson Prince William to watch an RAF flypast, spearheaded by two Typhoon Eurofighters.

The Duchess had earlier shared a carriage with William during the annual London spectacle for the first time.

Some 1,220 troops took part and the Colour of the Irish Guards was paraded.

Iraq war

It had been 10 years since the regiment last displayed its Colour during the event, which was watched by crowds of onlookers.

During the ceremony - to mark the Queen's official birthday in April, her 79th - the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards paraded their latest battle honour, which was won in Iraq.

Prince William and Duchess of Cornwall in carriage

It is the first Army unit to receive such an honour from the Queen in recognition of its efforts in the Iraq war.

Yet another first for this year's parade was the Colour Party, entrusted with the flag, which was made up of three brothers - Colour Sergeant Michael Hogan, 34, Guardsman James Hogan, 30, and Guardsman Peter Hogan, 23.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who celebrated his 84th birthday on Friday, rode in an open carriage - Queen Victoria's 1842 phaeton - along The Mall to the parade ground near Admiralty Arch.

Taking the salute

Also taking part in the procession, in the second barouche behind Prince William and the Duchess, were Prince Andrew, his daughters and Timothy Laurence, the Princess Royal's husband.

Prince Charles, the Princess Royal and Duke of Kent all rode on horseback.

Trooping the Colour dates back to the early 18th century or earlier, when the flags (colours) of the battalion were carried (trooped) down the ranks before battle so soldiers could recognise the uniform of their colleagues.

The ceremony has been used to mark the sovereign's birthday since 1748 and, since the reign of Edward VII, the sovereign has taken the salute during the proceedings.

The Duchess and William rode with the Earl and Countess of Wessex in the first barouche, which was previously used by the Queen Mother.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Watch highlights from the Trooping the Colour ceremony




SEE ALSO:
Irish to fly battle honours at parade
10 Jun 05 |  Northern Ireland
Prince William enjoys wedding day
05 Jun 05 |  Oxfordshire


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