The royal family were out in full force on Saturday as King Charles took part in his first Trooping the Colour as monarch. Several royals were spotted bowing after the glorious carriage procession, but the Princess of Wales noticeably did not. The reason is simple since Princess Kate would have already curtsied to the King in private when she saw him earlier in the morning.
Princess Kate was joined by her children Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, eight, and five-year-old Prince Louis in the horse-drawn carriage.
The act of curtseying remains central to royal protocol. It’s an age-old sign of deep respect to greet the monarch with a curtsy. Sometimes, royal watchers will see members of the royal family bob down into a low curtsy and bow their heads in public if they’re seeing the monarch for the first time that day.
Another tradition sees male members of the royal family use the title ‘His Majesty’ in the first instance and then use ‘Sir’ when addressing the King. Camilla, meanwhile, is first addressed as ‘Her Majesty’ later followed by ‘Ma’am’.
The British Monarchy website also offers guidance for members of the public when meeting the King or Queen. It confirms there are “no obligatory codes of behaviour” but notes that many people prefer to “observe the traditional forms”.
For ladies, that includes a small curtsy when meeting the monarch, while for the men it is a “neck bow”, from the head only. Alternatively, it notes, some opt to shake the royal’s hand.
Travelling in a carriage were the Queen, who is Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and the Princess of Wales as Colonel of the Irish Guards, along with Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
The royal party were in the midst of a sovereign’s mounted escort, formed by troops from the Household Cavalry’s Life Guards and Blues and Royals, in their shining breastplates and plumed helmets, and a ripple of cheers followed them when they travelled along The Mall.Soon after the King arrived on the parade ground the national anthem was played as a mark of respect and Charles had to steady his horse but it would not settle and a groom stepped forward to help.
The parade travelled from Buckingham Palace down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade before it finished with an impressive Royal Air Force fly-past. The King and the Prince of Wales rode on horseback during the display, while other members of the royal family, including Queen Camilla, watched from carriages before appearing on the Buckingham Palace balcony