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 take place on
Saturday 13th June 2020
The Colour will be trooped by 1st. Battalion Welsh Guards

Due to demand, it is necessary to enter an online ballot to obtain tickets to attend the Queen's Birthday Parade in 2020.
Entries to the ballot can be submitted during
January and February 2020 only

The official website for tickets can be found at and will open in January 2020.


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

Major General C. J. Ghika CBE, Major General Commanding the Household Division and General Officer Commanding London District, will take the salute at
The Major General's Review on Saturday 30th May 2020
HRH The Prince of Wales, Regimental Colonel Welsh Guards, will take the salute at
The Colonel’s Review on Saturday 6th June 2020

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.


The music of the 2019 Queen’s Birthday Parade is now available for download in aid of the Household Division Charity. The full parade, recorded by the Band of The Grenadier Guards, is available along with individual tracks for each part of the parade.

Follow this link to find out more:

For Apple device users follow this link:…/the-music-of-the-queen…/1465277811


Changing the Guard Schedule for London and Windsor

October 2019 Schedule
November 2019 Schedule

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

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