Loyalists have marched through Belfast and other cities in Northern Ireland to mark the Twelfth of July. The controversial parades are held every year to celebrate the anniversary of the defeat of Catholic King James by Protestant King William in the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

Orange Order marches in Belfast have ended in violence in recent years. Many residents feel provoked by the route the Loyalist march takes past the Ardoyne shops on Crumlin Road. There was a heavy police presence this year as the march was allowed to pass through the area, considered to be Nationalist territory.

Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Orangemen march past police, keeping Nationalist protesters away from the Loyalist paradeCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Orangemen lead the march as the main 12th July parade moves off from Carlisle circus in BelfastPaul Faith/AFP
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A nationalist protester holds up a placard as a band and Orangemen march past the controversial Ardoyne shops areaCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Nationalist protesters clash with police officers as a Protestant band and Orangemen march past the controversial Ardoyne shops area of BelfastCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
An Orangeman displays his sash before he takes part in the annual marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Orangemen take a break as they take part in the annual marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Men in period costume parade during the annual march in BelfastPaul Faith/AFP
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
An Orangeman poses for a portrait before he takes part in the annual marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A young band member poses for a photograph during the annual march in BelfastCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
An Orangeman lights up his pipe before he takes part in the annual marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
An Orangemen wearing Union flag braces watches as thousands take part in the annual Orange marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
An Orangeman poses for a photograph on his mobility scooter before he takes part in the annual marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A young band member throws his baton skywards as thousands of Orangemen and bandsmen take part in the annual Orange marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
The leading party of Orangemen stand to attention as they wait for the beginning of the annual Orange marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
An Orange bandsman screams into the camera during the annual marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Band members dressed in WWI military outfits take a selfie before they take part in the annual Orange marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A banner is seen before the Twelfth of July Orange Order March passes through the Crumlin Road in BelfastClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
An Orange bandsman dressed in a vintage military uniform rolls a cigaretteCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A drummer leads a band during the annual Orange order marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Bandsmen share a joke before they take part in the annual Orange marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Orange lodge members show off their matching tattoos before taking part in the annual marchCharles McQuillan/Getty Images

On the night before the marches, huge bonfires were lit around Northern Ireland to commemorate the lighting of fires on the hills to help King William's ships navigate through Belfast Lough at night when his forces landed at Carrickfergus to fight the Catholic Jacobites, supporters of the exiled Catholic King James II.

This year, three terraced houses in the Shankill area of Belfast were gutted or damaged by burning embers carried through the air.

Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Three houses that burned down following a bonfire in the Shankill Road areaClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A Loyalist lights a towering bonfire on the Shankill estate in BelfastCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A man hoses a building to cool it from the heat of a bonfire burning in the Shankill RoadClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Onlookers take shelter from sparks as a bonfire burns on the Shankill estateCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A couple kiss as a man shelters from the ashes of a bonfire burning in the Shankill Road areaClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Onlookers watch as Loyalists light their bonfire on the Shankill estate in BelfastCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A boy holds a Union flag in front of a bonfire burning in the Shankill Road areaClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A Loyalist is silhouetted as he dances in front of a bonfire on the Shankill estate in BelfastCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A couple watch a bonfire burn in the Shankill Road area of BelfastClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A bonfire pyre with the words 'Brexit IRA Scum' is seen in Tiger's Bay ahead of the Twelfth of July celebrations held by members of the Orange Order in BelfastClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A giant bonfire is seen in Ballymacash in LisburnClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A young boy is seen affixing a Sinn Fein poster to a bonfire in BelfastClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A bonfire is seen in Hopewell Crescent in BelfastClodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Loyalists gesture at the foot of a huge bonfire in the lower Shankill road area of BelfastPaul Faith/AFP
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
Peter Stenhouse carries a wooden pallet as he helps to build a bonfire on the Ballymacash estateCharles McQuillan/Getty Images
Northern Ireland Orange Order march
A Loyalist maskes making final preparations to a huge bonfire on the Ballymacash estate in BelfastCharles McQuillan/Getty Images