It’s finally here! The annual Trooping of the Colour event kicked off early on Saturday, June 9 and fans were in for a treat because newly crowned Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle made her first-ever balcony appearance with her husband Prince Harry the rest of the royal family. She stepped out for her first Trooping of the Colour, in honor of her new grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth.

Meghan broke Royal fashion protocol with her outfit choice, a pale pink custom-made Carolina Herrera dress that featured an off-the-shoulder neckline, a midi-length skirt, and short sleeves — which goes against the norm of royal ladies during this event, according to People. Meghan’s sister-in-law Kate Middleton always opted to a longer sleeve for the event ever since she made her debut back in 2011, and Meghan’s late mother-in-law Princess Diana also always wore longer sleeves to the event.

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But even though Meghan went against the rules with her look, she still looked beautiful and stylish — and Kate looked stunning in a powder blue Alexander McQueen dress, People reported. Duchess Kate took a mini break from her maternity leave — she welcomed her third child, Prince Louis, with husband Prince William back in April — to attend the event with her family. And, of couse, Prince William and Kate Middelton’s older children — four-year-old son Prince George and three-year-old daughter Princess Charlotte — also made an adorable appearance on the balcony.

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Royal fans look forward to the special annual event (it typically happens on the second week of June every year) in London. But, what exactly is it? Scroll down for all the details on the Trooping of the Colour.

What is Trooping the Colour?

The Trooping of the Colour is known as Queen Elizabeth’s second birthday celebration. Yes, the Queen has two birthdays! Although her official DOB is April 21, she officially celebrates her special day with this event. According to the royal family website, the event has been happening for over 260 years! During Queen Elizabeth’s nearly 70-year reign, she’s only missed one year.

“Over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark The Queen’s official birthday,” the site says of the memorable day. “The streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, alongside Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages.”

What happens at Trooping the Colour?

To begin the day, the Queen arrives in Whitehall. After being greeted by the troops, she inspects them (does it get any more official than that?!) before they perform. Then the main event, the royal website describes, “The escorted Regimental Colour, or flag, is processed down the ranks of soldiers. Over one hundred words of command are used by the Officer in Command of the Parade to direct the several hundred soldiers.” So cool! The flag changes every year, and this year it will be the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards who gets to display theirs.

How can I watch Trooping the Colour?

Luckily for fans, BBC live-streamed the Trooping the Colour on Saturday, June 9. The event will be also available for streaming after the event, but its unclear how long it will remain on the site.

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Who from the royal family will be at Trooping the Colour 2018?

Of course, the key players from the royal family like Duchess Kate, Prince William, Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan, Prince Charles, Prince George, and Princess Charlotte all attended. That made for the perfect annual photo op of the royal family all lined up on the Buckingham Palace balcony (we always love the ones of them looking up to watch the Royal Air Force fly by). Royal fans were a little disappointed that the new royal baby, Prince Louis, did not make an appearance. Hopefully fans will get to see him on the balcony next year!

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