The King's first Trooping the Colour as Sovereign

Published 17 June 2023

His Majesty has taken the Salute at the annual parade to mark the Monarch's official birthday for the first time in his reign.

The King takes the salute, wearing a bearskin hat

The King was saluted as Colonel in Chief of the seven regiments of the Household Division on Horse Guards Parade in this spectacular ceremony which is steeped in history. 

The Prince of Wales, The King and The Princess Royal progress down The Mall

This military ceremony dates back to the early eighteenth century or earlier, when the colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (or 'trooped') down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.

The Queen, The Princess of Wales and Princess Charlotte process to Trooping the Colour in a carriage

Since 1748, this parade has also marked the Sovereign's official birthday. Last year, during the Trooping of the Colour of Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, The King took the salute at Horse Guards on behalf of Her Majesty.

The Duchess of Edinburgh travels to the Trooping the Colour parade by carriage

This year marks the first Trooping the Colour of His Majesty’s reign. The King attended his first Trooping the Colour in 1951, aged three, riding in a carriage with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and aunt, Princess Margaret. The King first rode in the parade as Colonel of the Welsh Guards in 1975.

Marking the first time that the reigning Monarch has ridden at Trooping the Colour since 1986, when Queen Elizabeth II last rode, The King joined the Birthday Parade on horseback.

The King, flanked by The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal

The troops processed from Buckingham Palace down The Mall before forming up on Horse Guard's Parade ready for inspection by The King.

The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Edinburgh on horseback

The Duke of Edinburgh rode in the parade as Colonel of the London Guards for the first time. He has been Royal Colonel of the London Regiment since 2011, which was re-designated the London Guards last year.

Prince George, Prince Louis and Princess Charlotte progress to Horse Guards Parade by carriage

His Majesty was joined by Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family to view the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards Troop their Colour. The Sovereign’s Escort was provided by The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals.

Trooping the Colour

Following the Parade, the Royal Family returned to Buckingham Palace in procession down the Mall.

The Royal Family return to Buckingham Palace

Upon their return, The King and Queen were joined by other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a flypast of 70 aircraft in celebration of His Majesty’s first official birthday.

The Royal Family appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

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