Trooping the Colour / Queen's Birthday Parade

In June each year Trooping the Colouralso known as 'The Queen's Birthday Parade', takes place on Horse Guards Parade in London.

With Her Majesty the Queen taking the salute Trooping the Colour is the highlight of the ceremonial calendar with over 1400 officers and men, two hundred horses and the Massed Bands of the Household Division on parade.

Prior to the Queen's Birthday Parade there are two full dress rehearsals.

The first rehearsal known as 'The Major General's Review' takes place two weeks before the actual Birthday Parade.

'The Colonel's Review' takes place the week prior to 'The Queen's Birthday Parade'.

Trooping the Colour 2021

The Queen's Birthday Parade

The Colour will be Trooped by F Company Scots Guards

 

The Colonel’s Review

HRH The Duke of Kent KG, GCMG, GCVO, Regimental Colonel of the Scots Guards will take the salute.

 

The Major General's Review

Major General C. J. Ghika CBE, General Officer Commanding London District and Major General Commanding the Household Division, will take the salute.

Trooping the Coldstream Guards ColoursTrooping the Colour of the Coldstream Guards

History of Trooping the Colour

The custom of Trooping the Colour was introduced in 1805. However, due to the illness of King George III, it was suspended from 1811 to 1820.

The ceremony was restored on the accession of King George IV and has become the highlight of the ceremonial calendar ever since.

The Queen has attended Trooping the Colour every year of her reign, except in 1955 when a national rail strike resulted in the event being cancelled.

In 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards with a composite Band, comprising of two Directors of Music and 40 other ranks was drawn from the Bands of the five regiments of Foot Guards, who with six drummers from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards forming the rear rank paraded in front to Her Majesty The Queen inside Windsor Castle. (The Queen’s Official Birthday 2020 Video)

The Ceremony

The Queen travels down The Mall from Buckingham Palace, by carriage, with a Sovereign's escort from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

As the clock on Horse Guards chimes eleven Her Majesty The Queen arrives to take the Royal Salute from the officers and men of the Household Division on parade.

After the salute The Queen rides up and down the ranks, in her carriage, inspecting the troops on parade.

After the massed bands have performed a musical 'troop' the Regimental Colour, being trooped, is escorted up and down the ranks of Guards.

The Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry then march past Her Majesty, and The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, rank past with their Guns.

The Queen, in a carriage, rides back to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards, before taking the salute from a dais in front of the Palace railings as the troops march past on the way to their barracks.

Her Majesty The Queen joins other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past by the Royal Air Force at 1 'o' clock.

Note: There is no fly past for either the Major General's or The Colonel's Review.

Watching Trooping The Colour

The Trooping the Colour parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, and back again.

Those without tickets, to the seated stands, can choose a spot on The Mall or on the edge of St James's Park overlooking Horse Guards to watch the parade from the sidelines.

Where to watch Trooping the Colour from the sidelines

Where you can watch Trooping the Colour from the sidelines

What you can see from the sidelines in pictures.

 

Check out Timings for the Queen's Birthday Parade for more information and suggestions on where to watch the parade.

 

Trooping the Colour Tickets

Tickets for the Major General's Review and the Colonel's Review can be purchased online in January and February.

The Major General's Review

The Major General Commanding the Household Division, Major General C. J. Ghika CBE, will take the salute.

Tickets Prices are:

  • Standing: £ 2.00
  • Seated: £ 5.00
  • Wheelchair (+ 1 companion): £ 5.00

The Colonel's Review

HRH The Duke of Kent KG, GCMG, GCVO, Regimental Colonel of the Scots Guards will take the salute
Tickets Prices are:

  • Standing: £ 2.00
  • Seated: £ 10.00
  • Wheelchair (+ 1 companion): £ 10.00

The Queen's Birthday Parade

Due to demand it is necessary to enter an online ballot to apply for tickets for The Queen's Birthday Parade.

Applications to enter the ballot for tickets can only be submitted between January and February.

Up to a maximum of 4 tickets can be applied for.

Successful applicants will be notified by 31st March 2021.

Queen's Birthday Parade Ticket Prices

  • Standing: £ 5.00 (Standing tickets go on sale after ballot closes)
  • Seated: £ 40.00
  • Wheelchair (+ 1 companion):

 

BUY / APPLY FOR TICKETS

2020 - CLOSED

Trooping The Colour Dress Code

The Queen's Birthday Parade - Morning Dress, Lounge Dress, Lounge Suit or Jacket and Trousers, equivalent for the ladies (no denim). Military personnel may wear Ceremonial Day or other Service equivalent.

Colonel's Review - Lounge Suit or Jacket and Trousers, equivalent for the ladies (no denim).

Major General's Review - Smart Casual (no denim).

Hats are optional, but recommended in the case of hot weather.

Non compliance with the dress code may result in entry being refused.

About The Colour

Trooping the Colour originated from traditional preparations for battle when a Regiment's Colour was carried, or "trooped", down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers who would use them as a rallying point in the confusion of battle.

 

Trooping The Colour Timings

Trooping The Colour commences on Horse Guards Parade at 10:00 and ends at 12:25.

Timings for the Reviews are the same as those for the Queen's Birthday Parade, with the exception of the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, the Gun Salute and Fly Past.

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Insider Tip

For those visiting London in May it is always worth checking the Dates for Changing the Guard to see if the New Guard is scheduled to mount from Horse Guards. (Dates published in the Changing the Guard and Ceremonial Events Calendar as soon as they have been confirmed).

A Horse Guards Mount, (HGM), indicates a rehearsal for Trooping the Colour is scheduled to take place and that the New Guard, led by a Regimental Band, will march from Horse Guards up The Mall to Buckingham Palace to the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the end of the rehearsal.

There are normally four rehearsal each year and although Horse Guards is cordoned off you can watch from the corner of St James's Park.

Getting To Horse Guards

Address: Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AX

By Underground - The nearest tube stations are:

  • Charing Cross - About 6 minutes walk. Bakerloo, & Northern line
  • Embankment - 10 minutes walk Bakerloo, Northern, District & Circle line

By Train - Nearest, mainline, train station:

  • Charing Cross - About 6 minutes walk

By Bus - Bus Numbers: 11, 12, 159, 24, 3, 453, 53, 87, 88, N109, N11, N136, N155, N2, N3, N381, N44, N87

By Car - Not recommended, Whitehall is in the congestion charge zone. Parking is difficult to find and expensive.

Getting Around London

The Visitor Oyster Card is the cheapest and most flexible way to travel around London.

Valid on London Underground, buses, trams and the Dockland Light Railway (DLR).

  • Cheap - A single tube journey will cost £4.30 with cash but a maximum of £2.00 with an Oyster card
  • Smart - You will never be charged more than a price of a London Travel card
  • Easy - Your card is reusable and the credit never expires
  • Save - Discounts at top restaurants, shops and venues across London simply by showing your card
  • Use your Visitor Oyster to get from Heathrow and Gatwick Airports to London and back

 

The London Travelcard gives you access to unlimited travel on London Underground trains, buses, Docklands Light Railway, trams and overland trains within London.

  • Cheap: with one ticket you get unlimited travel, [ within the zones your Travel card covers], working out much cheaper than buying single tickets
  • Easy: one ticket for one day or one week!

 

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