Trooping the Colour 2024

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Members of the Royal Family came together to mark The King’s official birthday with the annual Trooping the Colour Parade, showcasing the best of military pageantry and celebrating the Monarch’s links to the Armed Forces.

The balcony at Buckingham Palace

As is tradition, The King wore the tunic of the Guard of Honour Order, the Irish Guards. The Sovereign always wears the uniform of whichever Regiment’s Colour is being trooped. The Queen, who is Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, wore her Grenadier Guards military brooch. Their Majesties travelled to the Parade in the Scottish State Coach: one of the oldest in the Royal Mews. The Princess of Wales travelled with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis in the Glass Coach.

The King waves from a carriage

The Prince of Wales, The Princess Royal and The Duke of Edinburgh attended the parade on horseback, riding Darby, Noble and Sir John respectively and wearing the uniforms of the Regiments in which they are Royal Colonels: the Welsh Guards, the Blues and Royals and the Scots Guards.

The King takes the salute on Horse Guards Parade

Hundreds of military working horses and more than a thousand soldiers of the British Army’s Household Division delivered the parade itself. 

The King’s Birthday Parade is essentially a ‘gift’ from the British Army’s Household Division to His Majesty to mark his birthday. Held traditionally on the second Saturday in June, regardless of the Sovereign’s actual date of birth, the parade is an opportunity for the household division to demonstrate their professional excellence and loyalty to the Crown.

Troops on parade

The majority of those on parade are aged 18-25, recent recruits with literally just a few months of experience of Army life, who undertake ceremonial training at the same time as training to be fighting soldiers.

During the parade, the King’s Colour (Regimental flag) is “Trooped” (carried aloft by one of the Regiment’s most junior Officers through the ranks of soldiers).

The King and Queen wave from the balcony

The honour to Troop their Colour rotates through the five regiments of Foot Guards, and this year it lay with Number 9 Company Irish Guards. The Irish Guards were raised by Queen Victoria in 1900 and have provided almost 125 years of service to the Monarchy and the nation. This is however the first time that one of the Irish Guards Public Duties Companies willTroop Their Colour on a Sovereign’s Birthday Parade and the first time that the Irish Guards have trooped in front of The King.

Number 9 and Number 12 Irish Guards Public Duties Companies were formed in September 2022 in the final days of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Reign. In the past year the Irish Guards have deployed 17 times to six countries.The King is the Colonel in Chief of the seven Guards regiments.

Irish Guards with mascot

Recognisable on ceremonial operations by the St Patrick’s blue of the plumes in their bearskins, the Irish Guards traditionally comprise troops from the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Liverpool and Birmingham, as well as Fiji, the wider Commonwealth and the rest of the UK.

The Irish Guards are alone amongst the Household Division in having a Regimental Mascot, an Irish Wolfhound, who took his place at the front of the Regiment and led the Band of the Irish Guards, and the Drums and Pipes of the Irish Guards onto Horse Guards parade.

After the parade on Horse Guards, the Irish Guards marched up The Mall as part of the Royal Procession. The Trooping of their Colour completed, they then immedately took over responsibility as the new King’s Guard at Buckingham Palace for the next 24 hours.

 

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