Trooping the Colour: Why Did Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Stand So Far From Kate Middleton and Prince William on the Balcony?

Yesterday was the annual Trooping the Colour in the UK. The event garners fanfare like none other. It’s the chance for locals and tourists to get a glimpse at the royal family. The event is dedicated to celebrating the Queen’s birthday. Even though her actual birthday was over Easter weekend, Trooping the Colour has been the country’s way of celebrating their monarch’s birth for over 200 years.

Last year was Meghan Markle’s first time participating in the event, which takes place in June every year. This year was Prince Louis’ debut to Trooping the Colour. While everyone was excited to see Markle make a reemergence after giving birth to Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, and Prince Louis at his first Trooping the Color celebration, there was one thing that stood out more than others.

The giant space in between Prince Harry and his brother Prince William, and their wives, Markle and Kate Middleton.

Why did the royal brothers stand so far apart?

The Trooping the Colour celebration always ends with the rest of the royal family joining the Queen on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. This is the perfect photo opp for well-wishers and those in the crowd.

But, if you paid attention to the order in which the royal family was standing, you probably noticed that Markle and Harry weren’t as close to the front as William and Middleton.

This is because of the royal order. William is closer in line for the crown than his brother and therefore has to be in a more prominent position on the balcony.

The family also reportedly wanted the children to be the focus of the photo opp so they were pushed to the front as well.

“She was not as prominent perhaps as some people might have expected, but there’s a pecking order,” Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, told People of Markle’s position on the balcony. “There was no slight intended, but William being the older, more senior brother would go out [first] with his wife.”

The same was true last year.

“There’s no one laying this out, telling her where to stand,” a palace source told the outlet last year. “And there were a lot of kids who everyone would want at the front.”

What is Trooping the Colour?

For Americans and those outside of the United Kingdom, Trooping the Colour might sound weird, but it is essentially just a big celebration for the birthday of the sitting ruler. It is also a giant military parade which dates all the way back to the 17th century.

During the parade, over 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians walk through the streets.

The “colours” refer to the colors of certain sections of the British Army. Every year, a different color is chosen to be trooped.

The parade starts with the Queen leaving Buckingham Palace. Up until 1987, Queen Elizabeth II used to ride side-saddle on a horse during the parade. Now, she rides in a carriage.

After she leaves the palace, she rides down the mall towards Horse Guards Parade. She is then greeted by the soldiers and inspects the troops.

The colours are then carried down and shown to the soldiers. Next, the Queen leads the troops back to the Palace for a salute.

Finally, she is joined by the rest of her family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.