Queen begins birthday celebrations on somber note

The queen traditionally celebrates her official birthday in June

Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh make their way up The Mall from Horse Guards Parade, central London to Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour ceremony as the Queen celebrates her official birthday today, Saturday, June 17, 2017. (Yui Mok/ PA via AP)
Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh make their way up The Mall from Horse Guards Parade, central London to Buckingham Palace following the Trooping the Colour ceremony as the Queen celebrates her official birthday today, Saturday, June 17, 2017. (Yui Mok/ PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Queen Elizabeth II and senior royals have marked her official birthday in the annual Trooping the Color celebration.

The 91-year-old monarch was greeted Saturday by hundreds of well-wishers on a sunny day in the heart of ceremonial London. She rode with her husband Prince Philip in an open carriage in the procession along Horse Guards Parade.

Prince William and Prince Charles were on horseback. William’s wife Kate and Charles’ wife Camilla were in a carriage with Prince Harry.

The queen traditionally celebrates her official birthday in June when the weather can be balmy rather than in April, the month of her actual birth.

The day began on a somber note when Elizabeth and Philip observed a minute of silence in honor of the victims of the horrific London apartment tower fire.

The queen also released a statement on Saturday morning in regards to the country’s most recent tragedies:

Today is traditionally a day of celebration. This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies. As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events. During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need. Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity. United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”

KOIN 6 News Staff contributed to this report