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Trooping of the Colour
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Trooping of the Colour

Trooping of the Colour has been a celebration of the British monarch’s birthday since the reign of Charles II. The event originally took place on the sovereign’s birthday but bad weather during the November birthday of George II led to his ‘official’ birthday being celebrated in mid-June.

It did not become an annual celebratory pageant until the reign of George IV — and since then, only a very few events have prevented it from taking place before the reigning monarch. The present queen has missed only one Trooping of the Colour in her sixty-five years on the throne, and that was due to a train strike.

Trooping of the Colour 2018 Information – Regiments and Military Bands Parade

The ‘colours’ were the British Army’s regimental flags. To ensure that new recruits knew which were their units on battlefield, the colours were trooped daily between the ranks of soldiers.

The Queen’s Household Division is comprised of two cavalry divisions – the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals, and five foot guards – the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards. Each year one of the five foot guards is selected to troop its color before the Queen.

The pageantry begins with regiments and bands taking their places on the parade ground and the Queen and Royal Family members traveling down the Mall by carriage and on horseback. The Queen herself rode, dressed in the uniform of the regiment trooping the colour, until 1987.

More than a thousand officers and men take part in the parade, under the Officer in Command of the Parade, with two hundred horses and musicians from six bands and corps of drums. Upon arrival at the Horse Guards Parade, the Queen mounts a dais and the Guards present arms. She takes the Royal Salute and then inspects her troops. After the inspection, she returns to the dais to watch the Trooping of the Colour, marches past of foot and mounted regiments and military bands.

Afterwards, the Royal Procession returns up the Mall to Buckingham Palace where they watch the Royal Air Force fly pass from the balcony.

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