What is Trooping the Colour?

The Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years.

Over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark the Sovereign's official birthday.

The streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade, alongside Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages.

The display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by Members of the Royal Family from Buckingham Palace balcony.

What happens during Trooping the Colour?

 

Once the Sovereign has arrived at Horse Guard's Parade in Whitehall, they are greeted by a Royal salute and carry out an inspection of the troops, who are fully trained and operational soldiers wearing the ceremonial uniform of red tunics and bearskin hats.

After the military bands have performed, the escorted Regimental Colour, or flag, is processed down the ranks of soldiers. Over one hundred words of command are used by the Officer in Command of the Parade to direct the several hundred soldiers.

Once the Foot Guards have marched past the Sovereign, they ride back to Buckingham Palace at the head of the soldiers, before taking the salute again at the Palace from a dais. 

The Sovereign is then joined by other Members of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past by the Royal Air Force. A 41-gun salute is also fired in Green Park to mark the occasion. 

How to watch Trooping the Colour

You can find full details on how you can watch the Trooping the Colour Parade, including how to apply for places in the seated stands at Horse Guard's Parade, on the Household Division's website.

The ceremony is also broadcast live by the BBC.

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