The Colour

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.

Precisely 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.

Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade

Overview video clip of Trooping the Colour from the perspective of the Ensign



The Queen's Birthday Parade will be held on Saturday 12th June 2021
on Horse Guards Parade

The Colour will be trooped by F Company, Scots Guards

Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 ticket numbers for all three events in 2021 will be severely limited.
Available seats for all three events will be spaced out to comply with social distancing
and the relevant Tier level for London. These will be bookable in groups of between 1-4 seats.

A public ballot for Trooping the Colour reviewed by HM The Queen in 2021 will not be held this year
due to prioritising winners from Trooping the Colour 2020 ballot who booked tickets but were unable to attend due to the event being cancelled.

Tickets for the reviews are now on sale from the official website which can be found at


There are two reviews prior to the Queen's Birthday Parade:

Major General C. J. Ghika CBE, General Officer Commanding London District and Major General Commanding the Household Division, will take the salute at
The Major General's Review
on 29th May 2021
HRH The Duke of Kent KG, GCMG, GCVO, Regimental Colonel of the Scots Guards will take the salute at
The Colonel’s Review
on 5th June 2021

Children must be in possession of a ticket.
There are limited wheelchair spaces for all the parades. Separate applications are required for this facility.
No refund can be given if the events are cancelled for reasons beyond the control of the organiser.

Dress Code:

Trooping the Colour Reviewed by Her Majesty The Queen:
This is a formal State Ceremonial Parade in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen.
Those attending are required to dress accordingly.
Morning dress may be worn.

For all parades:
These are formal military parades and those attending are encouraged to look smart.
Lounge suit or jacket, tie and trousers, equivalent for ladies (no denim, shorts or sandals).
Serving Military personnel may wear Ceremonial Day uniform (with medals) or equivalent.
Hats are optional but are recommended for paying the necessary compliments to the Reviewer and Colours as they pass, as well as giving the necessary protection from the sun.
Umbrellas/parasols are not permitted to avoid obstructing views.



Police will be conducting searches of your personal belongings. As a condition of entry any items such as knives, pen knives, Leatherman and similar articles are prohibited and may be confiscated.

The processions can also be viewed from The Mall. Events begin at approximately 10am.
The Queen's Birthday Parade is also broadcast live on BBC Television in the UK with the fly-past at 1pm.


Changing the Guard Schedule for London and Windsor

Until Further Notice:
Guard Mounting at Buckingham Palace and
Windsor will take place without Music or Ceremony

A brief history of the Garrison Sergeant Majors, HQ London District

Tweets by @Trooping

Follow us on Twitter!

Links Page

Visit our online shop - DVDs, CDs, Books, Mugs and First day Covers

Visit our Message Board for up to date information about ceremonial events
Leave a message or ask a question

YouTube Visit our YouTube Channel

View and purchase high quality photographs, photo licenses, and prints of Trooping the Colour

Information about Press Stands for Trooping the Colour and Beating Retreat

e-mail :

Website design and management by: TurnipNet is a participant in the Amazon Europe S. r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme
designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Please note: This is not an official website. Please check official sources for up to date information about military events.
The HQ London District Household Division official website is at:

Trooping the Colour
Home page