I luckily saw my first Trooping the Colour by accident when I took my parents down to see Buckingham Palace. Little did we know that we would be greeted by thousands of spectators, and as my parents like to tell it…welcomed to London officially by the Queen as she drove by and waved.
Since 1748, Trooping the Colour which was originally a military ceremony when the colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (or ‘trooped’) down the ranks so they could be seen and recognized by the soldiers, but has now became a tradition that marks the official birthday of the British sovereign.
Trooping the Colour is a ceremony held in London annually on a Saturday in June, and performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth infantry. The colourful ceremony, also known as ‘The Queen’s Birthday Parade’ (even though the Queen’s Brithday is actually in April), has the Queen greeted by a Royal salute as she carries out an inspection of the troops. After the bands have performed a musical ‘troop’, the escorted Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks. The Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry then march past Her Majesty, and then the King’s Troop and the Royal Horse Artillery. The Queen rides in a carriage back to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards, before giving a final salute at the Palace. The troops then return to the barracks. Her Majesty then joins other members of the Royal Family on the palace balcony for a fly by of the Royal Air Force. And let me tell you, these things are fast and loud. You’ll know it’s Trooping the Colour even if you forgot the date.