Next Saturday will be the official birthday of Her Majesty the Queen and like every year the ceremony of Trooping the colour also known as the Queen’s birthday parade will take place. What is the history of this 300 years old ceremony ?

History of Trooping the Colour

According to historians, Trooping the colour goes back to the restoration and the reign of Charles II ( reigning 1660 – 1685). At this time this was not a ceremony celebrating the Monarch’s birthday, in fact it was aimed to accustom the new recruits to the colours of their regiments. Indeed, this was vital on the the battlefields as a rallying point for the troops.

It is only in 1748 that this ceremony was dedicated to the Monarch’s Birthday celebration. Lately, Trooping the colour became an annual ceremony from the beginning of the reign of George III in 1760. However, the first Monarch to attend in person the ceremony was Edward VII (reigning 1901- 1910)  in 1901. Edward the seventh also took the opportunity to set the date of this ceremony to June in order to avoid hazardous weather; indeed, he was born in November. Since then the tradition was kept and this is why today, Trooping the Colour do not take place on the real day of Elizabeth II’s birthday on the 21st of April.

Since Edward VII the ceremony hasn’t changed and nowadays, Elizabeth II is attending the ceremony every year since she became Queen (She was also attending the ceremony as Princess Royal under the reign of her father George VI).


How to watch the ceremony?

To watch the ceremony different options are available:

First if you want to assist to the military parade on Queen’s Guard place you need to enter a poll where you can apply for a seated place. If you weren’t lucky and didn’t get a seat through the poll, no worries; the remaining places are put back on sales in the beginning of April. But be there when the website opens because the places goes very quickly.

If you didn’t get a place at all you can still see the parade from St Jame’s Park Corner, however the view will be more restricted.

The other possibility is to place yourself on one or the other side of the Mall, On St Jame’s Park or Green Park. Indeed, at the beginning of the processions Her Majesty will leave Buckingham palace to go to Queen’s Guard place where the military parade takes place. You will also see Her again on the way back to the Palace. Moreover you will be well located to see the apparition of the royal family at Buckingham’s balcony and the fly-past of the royal air force ending the Birthday Parade.

To have more information on the ceremony go to:

God save the Queen !

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