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Trooping the Colour: The Queen's Birthday Parade

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from

Never let it be said that Britons were logical. Queen Elizabeth's II birthday is on the 21st of April, yet her celebratory birthday parade, Trooping The Colour is not until the 15th June. Why? Apparently it is because we are more likely to have good weather. If you live in Britain, then you are no doubt snickering to yourselves, especially considering the torrential rain we had last summer.

But putting logic to one side, Trooping The Colour has been a tradition since the time of Charles II in the 17th century. It was at a time when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle, and was to sure that the soldiers could recognise their own men. Later in 1748, it became part of the celebrations of the current Sovereign's Birthday.

At 11 o'clock precisely, the Royal Procession arrives and The Queen takes the Royal Salute. The parade begins with an Inspection, after which over 1400 officers and two hundred horses parade to marching bands, travelling from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again. The RAF provide the grand finale in a flypast over the palace balcony.

If you would like to see the parade, it will be broadcast on the BBC, but you can also see it live from the Mall, with events beginning at 10am and ending at 1pm.

To be in with a chance to see it from seated stands around Horse Guards Parade, however, you need to apply for tickets this February by writing to:

Brigade Major
HQ Household Division
Horse Guards

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Why? Celebrate the Queen's (belated) birthday
When: 15th June, 10am-1pm
Where: Buckingham Palace
Cost: Free
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