Brits Celebrate Queen's 85th Birthday

Annual Trooping the Colour ceremony salutes official birthday
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2011 7:28 AM CDT

(Newser) – Another British occasion, another display of crazy hats: London today rolled out the redcoats and bear-skin hats to fete Queen Elizabeth's 85th birthday—even though it's not her 85th birthday. The annual Trooping the Color ceremony, which dates from 1748, is held on a Saturday in June, when the weather is ostensibly better than the queen's real birthday, April 21. Catherine, the royal clan's newest duchess, nevertheless warded off the chill with a tartan blanket, notes the AP, whilst Prince William rode in the parade in the same Irish Guards uniform in which he married her.

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The queen uses her official birthday to bestow honors. Among today's 965 recipients was British actor Colin Firth, of The King's Speech, who was named a Commander of the British Empire. Click through the photo gallery to get a look at the pomp. (Read more Prince William stories.)

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