Trooping the Colour: The Queen's Birthday Parade Free


Trooping the Colour is an annual event that takes place on Horse Guards Parade near London's St James's Park, marking The Queen's official birthday.

The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is full of military pomp and pageantry as The Queen carries out an inspection of the troops from the Household Division.

The Queen then leads the troops down the Mall to Buckingham Palace, one of London's most famous landmarks.

The Queen salutes and guns are fired in Green Park and at the Tower of London. Finally she joins other members of the Royal Family on the balcony to watch the RAF flypast.

History of Trooping the Colour

After existing in various forms from around 1700, the Trooping the Colour ceremony was restored in 1820 on the accession of King George IV.

The main aspects of the parade have changed very little since then. Trooping the Colour has been held each year in London, apart from during the world wars and a national rail strike in 1955.

Although the official birthday is celebrated in June, Queen Elizabeth II's actual birthday is in April. Monarchs are traditionally given a second birthday if they were born in winter, in case the weather is unsuitable for an outdoor event!

Tickets for Trooping the Colour

Tickets for the Trooping the Colour are available to the public, however they must be applied for in writing in January or February and are then allocated by ballot. 

Applications should be made in January or February only to:

Brigade Major
HQ Household Division
Horse Guards

Applicants will be informed by mid-March if they have been successful.

If you have not been lucky enough to have secured a ticket for Trooping the Colour, you can join the crowds of spectators along the Mall to watch all the action.

Alternatively, there are rehearsal events held on the two Saturdays before Trooping the Colour: The Major General's Review on 28 May and The Colonel's Review on 4 June.


Prices and Opening Times

Members of the public can watch the event for free and are advised to stand on The Mall or on the edge of St James's Park overlooking Horse Guards Parade from 9.00am.

The 2016 ballot for the seated section has now closed.

Opening Times:

From 10am

Venue Details & Map

Horse Guards Parade


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