Trooping The Colour

The Queen's Birthday Parade - Trooping The Colour - celebrates The Queen's official birthday each June and takes place on Horse Guards Parade,Whitehall, usually on the second Saturday of the month. The troops participating in the parade are the Household Division - composing of the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards. It is The Queen's Colour which is 'trooped' each year in the presence of the Sovereign.

The parade is based upon the ceremony used for guard mounting from Horse Guards Parade in London, in the early 18th century, and was first performed on the Sovereign's birthday for King George III in 1748. It became an annual event from George IV onwards.

Until 1913 the King and a Prince would attend the guard mounting ceremony at Horse Guards accompanied by many visiting members of foreign royal families, the Army Council and other senior officers, and military attaches and members of the royal households. However, in 1914 King George V agreed to changes and at the close of the ceremony place himself at the head of his Guards and ride down the Mall to Buckingham Palace behind the massed bands. The same procedure is still carried out today, except that The Queen no longer rides on horseback but travels in a 1986 The Queen's horse, Burmese, retired and she decided to use the carriage instead of training another horse. She is usually accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh on horseback.

The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, first appeared mounted on the parade in 1947 with her father King George VI - the first Birthday Parade to be held after the Second World War.

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