As you know, Trooping the Colour is a British tradition and a showcase for what the British royals do best: pageantry and spectacle. The entire British royal family gathers to celebrate the Queen’s birthday but also the English Way – like horses and uniforms and marching and all that sh-t. This is their brand. This is the Queen’s job, what she’s always prioritised: legacy and continuity. Interestingly enough, we are seeing the Cambridges, led by Prince William and Catherine, more and more, work to uphold that continuity. 

They were at Trooping the Colour with all three of their children this year. Will was on horseback, riding to represent the Irish Guards. He later joined Kate, Big G, Charlotte, and Louis for the annual family photo and the fly past. One day, they hope, Trooping the Colour will be about his birthday, in celebration of his longevity. Conveniently, Will’s birthday is actually in June, unlike the Queen, who was born in April. This means that when it’s Will’s turn to be King, Trooping will happen pretty close to his actual birthday and people won’t have to be confused about why Trooping takes place later or before. Before William though, there will be Charles. Prince Charles’s real birthday is in November. When Charles becomes King, Trooping then will likely also happen in the summer, months apart from his actual birthday, when it’s warm and people can come out and join the festivities and the likelihood of it raining in London on all those soldiers is much lower. 

The Cambridges dedicated several posts this weekend to Trooping, explaining the history behind the tradition. Here’s one where they go into detail about where the “colours” come from and what they signify, making sure that people understand that it’s not just about the pomp but that Trooping the Colour has its origins on the battlefield, thereby highlighting the fact that the event honours military contribution and service and not just royal fanciness: 


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Here’s a post that clarifies the difference in the dates, which could totally be summarised by the following: we deal with a lot of rain here in England, OK? 


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All of this is educational and informational, of course, but if you go back to the Kensington Royal Trooping the Colour posts from last year, for example, there wasn’t this much classroom time. Here are a couple of examples:


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I wonder if this is a deliberate and strategic. As a member of the British young royals, William and Kate are a major international draw. They, along with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, are the main points of intrigue for the social media generation; they get the most headlines. And William, of course, is the future monarch. You know the gossip of the last 9 months or so, since last fall, since word of the separation of the households first leaked. You’ve heard all the rumours about Will and Harry’s relationship, about how Will had to be reassured by people that being King was his birthright. You also probably remember that, for a while there, Will seemed to be delaying his full immersion into official royal involvement. That he wanted to take his time to do other things before becoming full-time royal. 

That’s not what we’re seeing this year on the House Cambridge Wikipedia for Trooping the Colour. And that’s not a bad thing either. The Cambridges are working out their social media game plan, ahem like the Sussexes, and leaning into it harder than ever before, setting up their eventual time at the head of the British royal family. Which, of course, includes their children, already superstars in their own right and their popularity is only going to grow as they get older, and when they grow into adulthood. 

Look at Prince Louis, at his first Trooping the Colour, already a performer. 

Seriously, this kid does not seem shy – at this stage – about attracting alllll the attention. As it should be. What’s the point of being up there if you don’t have this much MEEEEEEEEE. 

And PS. Louis is wearing an outfit very similar to the one Prince Harry wore when he was little.