Every year the Queen celebrates her official birthday with an impressive display of pageantry known as Trooping the Colour on Horse Guards Parade. The tradition dates back to the 17th Century and sees hundreds of officers, horses and musicians from the Household Division in their ceremonial uniforms to parade for the Sovereign. The Queen herself is always in attendance, along with various other members of the Royal Family. This year, the Trooping the Colour parade takes place on Saturday 9th June and this guide covers everything you need to know about the Queen’s Birthday Celebrations.
Where to watch Trooping the Colour?
The day starts at 10am with the Queen being escorted by carriage from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade along The Mall. Whilst at the Horse Guards Parade she will inspect her troops and lead the guards back to Buckingham Palace where she will take the salute. Guns are fired in Green Park and the Tower of London in celebration, and the Queen will watch the Royal Air Force flypast from the palace balcony with her family at 1pm.
Tickets for the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Horse Guards Parade are allocated by ballot, however applications for tickets for this year’s event are now closed. If you haven’t got a ticket, that doesn’t mean you can’t join in the celebrations. Crowds of spectators gather every year to watch the event on the edge of St James’s Park and along The Mall to watch the parade.
The History of Trooping the Colour
This hugely popular event has been used to mark the Sovereign’s official birthday since 1748. Back in the day, flags known as colours were used for identifying the various regiments of the British army. Soldiers needed to learn which colours belonged to their regiments and so the flags were regularly displayed and trooped by officers. This started the annual tradition of Trooping the Colour as we know and love it today.
Also started in 1748 was the tradition of the monarch having two birthdays. George II decided that as his birthday fell in November, he wanted a second so he could hold a celebratory parade in the good summer weather. He then decided to combine his birthday with Trooping the Colour which always takes places in June. The Queen has continued this tradition, with her actual birthday being 21st April; she celebrates her official birthday on a Saturday in June.
What to do in London during Trooping the Colour?
If you are heading to the capital for the Queen’s Birthday and Trooping the Colour on Saturday 9th June, there are loads of great places to see and visit as well as the parade itself. Head to Tower of London and explore London’s castle where you can learn about the Royal’s history, take a Yeoman Warder tour and be dazzled by the Crown Jewels. To avoid the crowds and get outdoors, grab a Santander Cycle and head for Hyde Park, you can adventure the largest of the four Royal Parks and see famous sights such as Kensington Palace, The Serpentine and Speaker’s Corner.
Rest your feet and relax after a busy day of celebrations at The Rembrandt, you can toast the Queen’s birthday with our Free Flowing Prosecco Afternoon Tea. For only £29.50 per person, you can enjoy the British custom of high tea, with an hour and a half of free flowing bubbles. Call us on 020 3740 7145 to book a table.
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