Great Britain

What is Trooping the Colour?


TROOPING the Colour traditionally celebrates the Queen's official birthday and is a huge attraction that draws crowds to Buckingham Palace.

Each June a parade of soldiers, horses and musicians starts at the Buckingham Palace moving down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade, to mark the Queen's birthday.

What is Trooping the Colour?

Trooping the Colour is an annual event that dates back to Charles II in the 17th century when regiment colours trooped in front of soldiers so they could recognise their unit in battle.

The Queen has taken the salute every year since her coronation in 1953, apart from 1955 when it was cancelled due to a national rail strike.

At first, the Queen is greeted by a Royal salute and the National Anthem.

The parade then commences and concludes with a second Royal salute.

Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family gather on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past by the Royal Air Force.

What is the Queen's Birthday Parade?

The royal occasion is also known as The Queen’s Birthday Parade.

The day kicks off with an impressive pageantry parade which includes her personal troops, the Household Division and Horse Guards.

Usually, the Queen rides in a carriage before inspecting the troops and taking a salute from the officers and men on parade.

The Queen traditionally has two birthdays, her actual birthday on April 21 and an official birthday marked every summer by the Trooping the Colour ceremony.

Her real birthday is in April but the "official" celebration takes place in June.

This is because of how temperamental the British weather is.

The tradition for monarchs to have two birthdays was started by George II back in 1748 - because the weather was too bad to hold his Birthday Parade on the actual date in November.

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