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  • June 7, 2019
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At the end of a day of commemorations of wartime heroism for the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Kate Middleton added her solidarity with armed forces members.

The royal, who wore a cream coat dress from her go-to designer Catherine Walker & Co. topped with her Irish Guards gold shamrock brooch, took the salute at a military parade that helps herald the celebrations of Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday on Saturday.

It marks the first time that the mom of three, 37, has received the salute at the spectacular musical show, known as Beating the Retreat, which saw 750 soldiers from the Household Division entertain 13,000 spectators with military music, horsemanship, precision drill, pageantry and fireworks.

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The name Beating the Retreat dates back to the 16th century and refers to a drum call that was used to recall units to their garrison. It has evolved into a musical ceremonial event. The Horse Guards Parade takes place every year for two nights just before the Queen’s Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.

This year’s show is themed around “Icons of a Nation” and captures the varied roles of the Household Division’s soldiers. The servicemen and women, famous for guarding royal palaces and residences, helping to mark the State Opening of Parliament and parading for the Queen’s Birthday, wore their ceremonial uniforms as they created the show of music and displays of precise marching formations.

The music program included the theme music from The Longest Day, a film about the Normandy Landings on June 6, 1944, while the finale included “The Earl of Mansfield,” “Theme from Henry V” and “The Lord’s My Shepherd/Amazing Grace.” The evening ended with the moving “Last Post” played.

As well as the bands of the Household Division, including the Household Cavalry and five Foot Guards regiments, Kate and the many spectators were entertained by The Band, Pipe and Drums of the Royal Guard of Oman; The Band and Pipes of the Royal Regiment of Scotland; The Band of the Honourable Artillery Company; London Scottish Regiment Pipes and Drums; National Cadet Force Pipes and Drums; The Royal British Legion Band and Corps of Drums Romford; and The Royal Choral Society.

It’s been a busy week for the royal family. After three days of the state visit in which the Queen, 93, hosted President Donald Trump, and the solemn celebrations of the valor of those who took part in D-Day 75 years ago, they will mark the Queen’s birthday this weekend on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

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