The weather gave Queen Elizabeth II a break for her official birthday celebrations on Saturday.

The rain stopped just as the queen left Buckingham Palace for the annual Trooping the Color ceremony at Horse Guards Parade.And it stayed dry as the queen joined her family later on the balcony of the palace to see a variety of modern and vintage aircraft fly overhead, including an AWACS communications and surveillance aircraft, Harrier jet fighters and a Spitfire.

On the way to the Trooping the Color ceremony, the queen - wearing a white and navy cotton dress with coat and matching hat - rode in an open carriage, behind another open carriage carrying her mother, Queen Mother Elizabeth, and the queen's sister, Princess Margaret.

The queen actually marked her 72nd birthday April 21, but the official birthday is marked on the second Saturday of June.

Queen Victoria, who liked to celebrate her birthday of May 24 in private, started the custom of having an official celebration in June 1843. The day has been marked on a Saturday since 1959.