King Charles Looks Eerily Like Prince Philip In First-Ever Trooping The Colour Horseback Ride

Did you think you saw a ghost at the Trooping the Colour parade? If so, then you weren't alone — but this image wasn't a result of paranormal activity; it was actually thanks to a noteworthy family resemblance. King Charles III's first Trooping The Colour was certainly a historic moment for the royal family. Interestingly, though, it was easy to be reminded of the family members who came before Charles as we watched him on horseback during the parade.

As is true with many royal traditions, the traditional garb worn at Trooping the Colour certainly added to the spectacle of the parade. Beyond honoring tradition and supplementing the event's plentiful pomp and circumstance, the attire also acted to highlight the importance of succession to the monarchy. How did the uniform manage to do this? Well, it made the family resemblance unusually clear to all onlookers. And, in doing so, it reminded us just how important this event is, especially as it falls just one month after King Charles' historic coronation.

King Charles' Trooping the Colour uniform highlights royal family resemblance

As one of the many changes he's made to tradition since taking over as king, King Charles III revived the decades-old horseback riding tradition at Trooping the Colour. As he rode in on horseback, it was clear that this was a historic moment. However, for many fans watching the parade, it felt more like déjà vu. Thanks to the traditional hat that Charles sported during his horseback ride, his face was slightly obscured in such a way that his resemblance to his late father, Prince Philip, was uncanny. 

One Twitter user tweeted a photo from the event, pointing out, "Oh wow, King Charles looks so much like his dad, the late Prince Philip in this pic. For a second I honestly thought it was Philip!" One user commented, "When I see him in this uniform, I always think he looks like his father, Prince Philip," while another added, "Isn't this a picture of Philip not Charles?" Yes –– the similarities were close enough to make some viewers actually confuse the father and son, making this family resemblance act as a reminder of those who came before the new king.

They looked like twins during their youth, too

Now that you've seen it, it's nearly impossible to look at photos of King Charles from Trooping the Colour 2023 and not see his startling resemblance to the late Duke of Edinburgh. The set jaw, stalwart expression, and even his stance on horseback are all jarringly the same. But, get ready for another round of uncanny valley: this isn't the only point in time when the father and son have had people doing a double take.

During a previous Trooping the Colour, there could be no doubt that then-Prince Charles is Prince Philip's son. At first glance — and maybe even after a third — this photo (above) from the ceremonious occasion will trick your mind into believing you're seeing double. But this simply isn't Prince Phillip's convincing body double keeping a watchful eye on him. It's Charles at his side looking remarkably like his father. Both are in traditional Welsh Guard garb and on horseback, making the two royals look more akin to brothers than father and son.

Perhaps the importance of the uniform and its connection to Prince Philip is why King Charles wore the exact same expression we so often saw Philip wear during a procession. Before his death, Prince Philip held the title of Colonel of the Welsh Guards. He later passed this title down to his son. Per Vanity Fair, King Charles would later give the title to his first-born, Prince William, who has continued to be a supportive figure in his life.