Experience a traditional ceremony full of military pomp and pageantry, with Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade.
Marking the Queen's official birthday, this annual event features hundreds of officers, horses and musicians from the Household Division in ceremonial uniform.
The Queen herself attends the ceremony. She is first escorted in a carriage from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade. There, she carries out an inspection of her troops, before leading her guards in a parade back to Buckingham Palace. Once at the palace, the Queen takes the salute, and guns are fired in Green Park and at the Tower of London. Finally she joins other members of the Royal Family on the palace balcony to watch the Royal Air Force fly-past.
Events begin around 10am and the RAF fly-past takes place at 1pm.
History of Trooping the Colour
After existing in various forms since the 17th century, the Trooping the Colour ceremony has been held every year in London to mark the sovereign's official birthday since the accession of King George IV in 1820, except during the world wars and a national strike in 1955.
Although the sovereign's official birthday is celebrated in June, Queen Elizabeth II's actual birthday is on 21 April. Monarchs are traditionally given a second birthday if they were not born in the summer, in case the British weather is unsuitable for an outdoor event!
Tickets for the Trooping the Colour Ceremony
In previous years, tickets for the seated stands on Horse Guards Parade were available to the public via a ballot. A change in the application process is planned for 2018 which will be outlined on the Household Division's website once confirmed.
Where to Watch Trooping the Colour
If you do not have tickets for the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Horse Guards Parade, you can join the crowds of spectators on the edge of St James's Park overlooking Horse Guards Parade or along The Mall for the parade.
Alternatively, tickets are available for the rehearsal events held on the two Saturdays before Trooping the Colour: the Major General's Review on 26 May and the Colonel's Review on 2 June. You can also get tickets to the Household Division's military evening pageant Beating Retreat, which takes place in the same location on the Wednesday and Thursday preceding Trooping the Colour (6 and 7 June in 2018).