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Trooping the Colour

Trooping the Colour is a quintessentially English experience of pomp and ceremony. A parade of the Massed Bands and Troops of the Foot Guards and Household Cavalry takes over Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's birthday.

Crowds line the flag-filled royal road of The Mall to watch the gleaming cavalry divisions on their perfectly groomed steeds parading up and down the roads around St James' Park. The Massed Bands pipe out jaunty, military tunes and the Queen herself can be glimpsed at the head of her troops, giving her Royal wave to all and sundry.

The tradition of the "trooping of the colours" to show off the flags of the different military orders dates back to 1748 and, since Edward VII's reign, the Sovereign has taken the salute in person. After arriving back at Buckingham Palace she appears on the balcony to watch the RAF flypast as the guns salute her from the Tower of London.

The Queen at the Trooping of the Colour. Crown Copyright, courtesy of Household Cavalry

Trooping the Colour Information


When: Jun 2013 (annual)

Where: London

Cost: Free

Opening Hours: From 10am

Address: Whitehall, London, SW1A 2NS

Hotels near Horse Guards Parade


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