The custom of Trooping the Colour dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th. Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle and were therefore trooped in front of the soldiers every day to make sure that every man could recognise those of his own regiment. In London, the Foot Guards used to do this as part of their daily Guard Mounting on Horse Guards and the ceremonial of the modern Trooping the Colour parade is along similar lines. The first traceable mention of The Sovereign's Birthday being 'kept' by the Grenadier Guards is in 1748 and again, after George III became King in 1760, it was ordered that parades should mark the King's Birthday. From the accession of George IV they became, with a few exceptions and notably the two World Wars, an annual event.
This impressive display of pageantry is now held on the occasion of the Queen's Official Birthday. It takes place in June each year to celebrate the official Birthday of the Sovereign and is carried out by her personal troops, the Household Division, on Horse Guards Parade, with the Queen herself attending and taking the salute.
Since 1987, The Queen has attended in a carriage rather than riding, which she did before that on 36 occasions, riding side-saddle and wearing the uniform of the regiment whose Colour was being trooped. The regiments take their turn for this honour in rotation as operational commitments permit.
Over 1000 officers and men are on parade, together with two hundred horses; over two hundred musicians from six bands and corps of drums march and play as one. Some 113 words of command are given by the Officer in Command of the Parade. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.
as the clock on the Horse Guards Building strikes eleven, the
Royal Procession arrives and The Queen takes the Royal Salute.
The parade begins with the Inspection, The Queen driving slowly
down the ranks of all six Guards and then past the Household
Cavalry. After the event, the Royal Family gathers on the balcony
of Buckingham Palace to watch an RAF flypast.
Overview video clip of Trooping the Colour from the perspective of the Ensign
Tickets for the
Colonel's Review and the Major General's Review
Go to qbp.army.mod.uk to purchase tickets for the Reviews.
Reviews and Prices:
There are two reviews prior to the Queen's Birthday Parade:
Major General B. J. Bathurst CBE, General Officer
Commanding London District and Major General Commanding
the Household Division, will take the salute at
Children must be
in possession of a ticket.
NON COMPLIANCE WITH THE DRESS CODE MAY RESULT IN REFUSAL OF ENTRY.
can also be viewed from The Mall. Events begin at
A brief history of the Garrison Sergeant Majors, HQ London District
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The HQ London District Household Division official website is at: www.householddivision.org.uk