Trooping the Colour is the official celebration of the Queen’s birthday.  Queen Elizabeth II’s birth date is April 21st but it is celebrated in June since the London weather is better for such pageantry.  The celebration commences on Saturday, June 16th at Horse Guards Parade.

Click on the video to see the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) march down the Mall toward Buckingham Palace.  Watch closely and you’ll see the Queen pass by in her carriage.

What does Trooping the Colour mean?

To “troop the colour” is to show the colours (the regimental flag) to the troops for recognition purposes in battle. It is performed solely by the line regiments of the British Army, which historically are the infantry regiments.

Before a battle, the custom was to troop the colour to define the rallying point. Then, after the battle,  the colours were once again shown to demonstrate that the colours were intact and still in possession of the regiment (the battle had not been lost).

What are the highlights of the event?

Beginning precisely at 11:00, at the Horse Guards Parade, the Queen receives a Royal salute from her personal troops (the Household Division) then inspects the troops.  Music is performed to honor her majesty.  At the conclusion of this phase of the celebration, the Queen returns to Buckingham Palace where she takes the salute at the Palace. At approximately 1:00, the Royal Air Force performs a fly by streaming red, white and blue vapors across the sky.

Various Photos from the 2010 ceremony. There are 1400 officers and 200 horses.

Over 400 musicians from ten bands ride and perform