Trooping the Colour
Visit London in June to celebrate the Queen's official birthday.
Trooping the Colour Ceremony
The custom of Trooping the Colour dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th. Century. The Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle and were therefore trooped in front of the soldiers every day to make sure that every man could recognise those of his own regiment. In London, the Foot Guards used to do this from 1755 onwards as part of their daily Guard Mounting on Horse Guards and the ceremonial of the present parade is along similar lines.
In 1805 Trooping the Colour parade was for the first time carried out to celebrate the Sovereign's birthday. This impressive display of pageantry is now held on the occasion of the Queen's Official Birthday. It takes place in June each year to celebrate the official Birthday of the Sovereign and is carried out by her personal troops, the Household Division, on Horse Guards Parade, with the Queen herself attending and taking the salute.
Since 1987, The Queen has attended Trooping the Colour in a carriage rather than riding, which she did before that on 36 occasions, riding side-saddle and wearing the uniform of the regiment whose Colour was being trooped. The regiments take their turn for this honour in strict rotation.
The ceremony derives from two old military ceremonies Trooping the Colour and Mounting The Queen's Guard. The origin of the ceremony goes back to the early eighteenth century, and possibly even earlier, when the guards and sentries for the Royal Palaces and other important buildings in the capital were mounted daily on the parade ground by the Horse Guards building. A feature of guard mounting was for the colours (or flags) of the battalion, which were - and still are - symbols of honour, but also in the past served as rallying points in battle, to be carried (or 'trooped') slowly down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.
In 1748 it was ordered that this parade would also mark the official birthday of the Sovereign. From the accession of George IV the parade became - with the few exceptions of two World Wars and a parade cancellation in 1955 caused by a national rail strike - an annual event.
Over 1400 officers and men are on Trooping the Colour parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and corps of drums march and play as one. The Officer in Command of the Parade gives some 113 words of command. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.
Precisely as the clock on the Horse Guards Building strikes eleven, the Royal Procession arrives and The Queen takes the Royal Salute. The parade begins with the Inspection, The Queen driving slowly down the ranks of all eight Guards and then past the Household Cavalry. After the event, the Royal Family gathers on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch an RAF flypast.
So if you are visiting London next June, one of the events that you should not miss is Trooping the Colour.
For more information visit www.royal.gov.uk
Georgian House Hotel is ideally situated in a very central location, so visiting sights all over London is quick and easy. Why not book Georgian House Hotel when you plan your trip to see the Trooping the Colour Parade? You can book online or email to make a reservation on firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone on 0044(0)207 834 1438