This Saturday June 15th, 2013 is the annual Trooping of the Colour in London. I bet you are wondering what exactly this Trooping thing is. Well, every year on a Saturday in June London celebrates the official birthday of the Sovereign. Although the actual birthday of Queen Elizabeth II is April 21st - a day in the summer has been set aside to celebrate the Monarch’s birthday in the hopes of better weather. Also known as the Queen’s Birthday Parade the Trooping is a fabulous passing of marching troops and military bands in all of their glory. This is a military ceremony dating back to the 18th century where the colours (flags) were carried (trooped) so that a particular division could be recognized.
The public can stand along the Mall to watch the procession of troops while the majority of marching and performances take place inside Horse Guards Parade in a grand stand area.
- Since Edward VII the Sovereign has taken the salute in person
- Queen Elizabeth II has attended every trooping except for 1955 when a rail strike cancelled the event
- Queen Elizabeth II rode a mounted horse during the trooping until 1987 – she now goes by carriage
- In 1981 on horseback the Queen’s horse was startled by someone firing a gun with blanks at her during the ceremony
The last time I was in London I happened to catch the Colonel’s Review – which is the dress rehearsal for the actual trooping ceremony. This happens one week before the actual Trooping of the Colour. I stood along the Mall as the participants marched down to Horse Guards Parade. Here are some of my pictures!
Happy Birthday Your Majesty!
Royal Alert! That's Prince Philip!