I doubt you could have failed to notice that the Trooping of the Colour took place last Saturday, 14th June, 2014. It marked the Queen’s official birthday; her actual 88th birthday was on 21st April.
The colour saluted was that of the Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards; the Queen presented the colour to the Guards at Buckingham Palace, last June.
The King’s Troop of the Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41 gun-salute in Green Park, and the Headquarter Squadron of the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London.
Pageantry of that quality and splendour would be hard to find elsewhere in the world; indeed, I doubt it could be found. Opinion as to whether all the pomp and concomitant expense can be justified in this day and age is divided. Much depends on how people view the monarchy; whether they support or disapprove of the institution and associated traditions.
In truth, the Queen is the Head of State, a nominal sovereign with little real power over her subjects who are governed by a democratically elected Parliament and members of the House of Lords. She is the spokesperson for her government of the day. At the opening of Parliament she sits in splendour at the House of Lords and reads ‘her’ speech which outlines the government’s agenda for proposed legislation relating to specific bills, such as in this session: the facilitation of fracking, limiting redundancy payments to public sector workers, free school meals for infants, and £2,000 childcare vouchers for working parents.
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