Who was the man on the balcony with Queen Elizabeth during Trooping the Color?

Who was the man on the balcony with Queen Elizabeth during Trooping the Color?

Queen Elizabeth II was joined by just one person when she made her first appearance on Thursday at the beginning of the four-day celebration for the Platinum Jubilee commemorating her 70-year reign.

She was accompanied by her first cousin, Prince Edward, who joined her in a role that over the years had normally been occupied by her late husband, Prince Philip, who died at 99 last year.

The Duke of Kent, 86, stood alongside her on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the Trooping the Color parade in a bittersweet moment that marked the first time the 96-year-old monarch has appeared in that capacity without her husband.

Image: BRITAIN-ROYALS-QUEEN-JUBILEE (Jonathan Brady / AFP via Getty Images)

"I do think it's not pure jubilation this time around in the way that it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago because of his absence," British NBC News contributor Wilfred Frost said on TODAY Thursday.

The duke stood next to the queen on the balcony while dressed in his military uniform to give the official salute as troops marched past the palace. The two were later joined by a host of other royal family members.

Edward is the son of Prince George, who was the younger brother of Queen Elizabeth's father, King George VI. Edward's mother, Princess Marina, was a princess of Greece and Denmark who became a British princess when she married Prince George. Marina also was a first cousin to Prince Philip.

Prince Edward has held his title as Duke of Kent since 1942, when he inherited it at only six years old after his father died in a plane crash during a military excursion in Scotland.

He served in the military for 20 years, and also is the first member of the royal family to make an official visit to China, according to the official royal family website.

The duke is also a huge tennis fan, having served as president of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club since 1969 and presented the winning trophies to the men's and women's champions at Wimbledon each year. He stepped down as president last year, and the position is now held by Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

The duke has been married to Katharine, Duchess of Kent, since 1961 and they have three children. The royal couple lives at Wren House in Kensington Palace in London. That palace is also home to Prince William, the former Kate Middleton, and their three children, who were all in attendance on the balcony at Buckingham Palace Thursday.

Prince Edward is currently is involved with more than 140 charities, organizations and professional bodies involving issues including remembering those lost in wars and promoting overseas trade and British industry, according to the royal family website.