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 King'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 April 2023, The King, accompanied by The Queen, presented new Standards and Colours to the Royal Navy, the Life Guards of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, The King’s Company of the Grenadier Guards and The King’s Colour Squadron of the Royal Air Force at Buckingham Palace. The occasion marked the first Colours presentation at which all three Services of the Armed Forces were represented, following His Majesty's Accession.
During the ceremony, His Majesty said:
It is some eighty-five years since a King’s Colour has been presented and, on such a special occasion, I particularly wanted to express my heartfelt appreciation to each and every one of you, as representatives from the three Services, for your loyal service over the course of her remarkable reign, to The late Queen who, I know, held you all in such high regard.
In June 2023, The King was joined by his sister The Princess Royal, Royal Colonel of The Blues and Royals, to present the new Sovereign's Standard to The Blues and Royals during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
In 2015, as Colonel-in-Chief, Queen Elizabeth II 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.