Queen takes salute at Trooping the Colour

Thousands of well-wishers celebrated the Queen's official birthday today at the Trooping the Colour parade.

The Queen wore a summery lilac outfit and co-ordinating hat for the televised military spectacle which is held every year at Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, central London.

The parade started under cloudy skies but they began to clear as the morning went on, allowing the warm sun through.

The Queen took the royal salute as senior members of the Royal Family looked on.

She celebrated her actual birthday on April 21, when she turned 84, but today's ceremony marked her official birthday, which is always in June.

She first took the royal salute in 1951, when she deputised for her sick father, George VI, and has continued receiving the mark of respect every year except 1955 when there was a national rail strike.

Thousands of people, including friends and family of those taking part, packed into seats and stands around Horse Guards Parade to watch precision marching by hundreds of Guardsmen.