Why Prince William’s Trooping the Colour outfit has changed so much over the years

Have you noticed how much Prince William’s outfit has changed over the years as he has attended the Queen’s birthday parade every June?

When the Duchess of Cambridge attends Trooping the Colour, all eyes are on her sartorial prowess, which she usually displays by wearing one of her favorite designers, Alexander McQueen.

Prince William wore his wedding outfit, his Irish Guards uniform, at his first Trooping the Colour as a married man in 2011
Prince William wore his wedding outfit, his Irish Guards uniform, at his first Trooping the Colour as a married man in 2011

William looked dapper in a red military uniform ten years ago, when he was a newlywed and attending his first Trooping the Colour as a married man.

To reflect his position as Colonel of the Irish Guards, William was dressed in his wedding uniform – his Irish Guards uniform.

He had only recently been appointed to the position in February 2011 – the first time a royal had held it – and was required by the Queen to wear his gleaming new uniform on his wedding day and at events such as Trooping the Colour.

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Since then, the Duke of Edinburgh has ridden in the Queen’s birthday parade on horseback and watched the flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

In 2011, he wore his Order of the Garter sash and star, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, and his Royal Air Force wings as a nod to his time as an RAF helicopter pilot.

By 2013, he had added the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal, his Order of the Thistle star, and his gold aiguillette worn over his right shoulder
By 2013, he had added the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal, his Order of the Thistle star, and his gold aiguillette worn over his right shoulder

However, William’s Trooping the Colour look has evolved over time. In 2012, he added the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal to his uniform, in honor of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations that year.

On the occasion of being installed by the Queen as a Knight of the Order of the Thistle, the highest honor available in Scotland, William was also able to wear his Order of the Thistle star, which features the motto “No one harms me with impunity.”

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William’s uniform was updated in 2013 with a gold aiguillette worn over his right shoulder. This was to commemorate his new role as one of the Queen’s aides-de-camp, a title bestowed by the monarch on members of the royal family who have served in the military.

Because 2022's Trooping the Colour was a 'Collar Day', William wore his Order of the Garter gold chain and his Order of the Thistle green sash
Because 2022’s Trooping the Colour was a ‘Collar Day’, William wore his Order of the Garter gold chain and his Order of the Thistle green sash

William’s uniform had changed dramatically for his most recent appearance at Trooping the Colour earlier this month. The father-of-three added a third medal to his collection, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal, to his regular regalia.

His green sash and heavy gold link chain worn across his chest were probably the most noticeable differences in his 2022 appearance. This was because the anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, on June 2nd, was designated as a ‘Collar Day.’

On ‘Collar Days,’ royals must wear their highest order’s collar (or chain) – in William’s case, the Order of the Garter. On ‘Collar Days,’ however, royals cannot wear the same order’s collar and riband (or sash). They don the riband of their next highest order, in William’s case, Scotland’s Order of the Thistle, which is a green sash rather than the traditional blue.

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