Queen Elizabeth may have celebrated her 91st birthday on 21st April but celebrations do not stop there. She will be celebrating her official birthday, marked with the Trooping of the Colour, on Saturday, 17th June.
Queen’s Official Birthday Parade
The Queen’s official birthday usually falls on the second Saturday of June but this year is different. The celebrations will be on the third Saturday, which will start at 9:15 am when the troops start to form. At 10:45 am, the Queen will be escorted in a carriage from Buckingham Palace in a grand procession. Accompanied by the Household Cavalry, she will arrive at the Horse Guards Palace at 11 am. The monarch will take the Royal Salute and will inspect her troops. This is composed of 2,000 members of the Household Division and Horse Guards comprising of 1,400 soldiers and 400 musicians.
The Trooping of the Colour will not be complete without the parading of the regimental flag in front of the Queen. The flag, which changes annually, usually comes from one of the Five Foot Guards regiments. It can either be Welsh, Irish, Scots, Grenadier, or Coldstream guards.
The 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards will be providing the Colour this year, the first time since 2009. Their Colonel is no less than Prince William, who took the position in 2011.
At 12:52 pm, there will be a loud cannonade of artillery from Green Park and the Tower of London. Finally, the Queen will be joined by the rest of the Royal Family on the balcony of the Palace. They will wave at the crowds and watch the Royal Air Force Flypast.
Spectators may catch a glimpse of the Queen when she passes by The Mall on her way back to Buckingham Palace. They may opt to join the crowds on the edge of St. James’s Park overlooking Horse Guards Parade. They need to be earlier than 9 am to get a spot and catch the action. If you prefer to stay at home, you can watch on TV as the entire parade will be broadcasted.
About Queen’s Official Birthday Trooping of Colour
The Queen’s Official Birthday dates back to the time of King George II in 1748. The King was born in the cold month of November, which was considered unsuitable for a parade. The Trooping of the Colour ceremony has existed in numerous forms since the 17th century. It is believed to have started during the reign of King Charles II between 1660 and 1685. King George IV decided to use the parade to mark the sovereign’s official birthday in 1820. It has become a tradition for monarchs to have birthday two celebrations if they were not born in the summer. This would allow the public to join the festivities.
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