To mark a special anniversary or event in a Regiment's history, The Queen will occasionally present the unit with new regimental flags, or 'Colours', in a formal ceremony. The Presentation involves a parade and an inspection by The Queen, or a Member of the Royal Family, who may also give a short speech.
What are Colours?
Each military unit has its own distinctive Colours, or flags, which were historically used in battle to signify the location of each unit. Although they are no longer carried into battle, Colours are still very symbolic, constituting a regiment's honour and representing its devotion to duty.
Each regiment of Foot Guards has a pair of Colours. The Queen's Colour displays the regiment's name within a gold circle in the centre of the Union Jack. The Regimental Colour shows the regiment's insignia displayed either on the Cross of St George (seen on the England flag), or on a plain background the colour of the regiment's 'facings' (traditionally the colour of the lining of the redcoat jacket).
When has this happened?
In 2015, as Colonel-in-Chief, The Queen presented new colours to The Royal Welsh Army at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, to mark the centenary of the unit. In the same year she presented colours to the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards at Windsor Castle.
In 2012, The Queen presented Colours to The Coldstream Guards, saying: " Thirteen years have passed since I presented you with the Colours which have just been marched off. Since then, there have been many changes in your ranks, but the spirit of the Regiment has remained intact through all the challenges and dangers which you have been required to face. "
In 2011, during her Royal Visit to Australia, she presented new colours to the Australian Royal Military College.