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Trooping the Colour: The Queen's Birthday Parade

Trooping the Colour. Copyright: UK MOD Crown Copyright 2017. Image courtesy of the Household Division.
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Watch troops from the Household Division honour the Queen's official birthday with a fantastic military parade that has taken place in London for two centuries. Read More
  • Trooping the Colour marks the Queen's official birthday celebrations.
  • The display features hundreds of Household Division officers, horses and musicians in ceremonial uniform. 
  • Join crowds of spectators in St James's Park or along The Mall
  • A spectacular Royal Air Force flypast takes place at 1pm. 

About

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 flypast.

Events begin around 10am and the RAF flypast takes place at 1pm. This year's trooped colour is the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. 

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!

Royal Air Force flypast takes place over Buckingham Palace

Tickets for the Trooping the Colour ceremony

Tickets for the seated stands on Horse Guards Parade are available to the public via an online ballot, which is now closed for 2018 applications.

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 on 6 and 7 June.

Venue Details & Map

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