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Trooping the Colour

Trooping the Colour

Overview

Trooping the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

s of the British
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 and the Commonwealth armies
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. It has been a tradition of British infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 regiments since the 17th century, although the roots go back much earlier. On battlefields, a regiment's colours
Colours, standards and guidons
In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or Guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt some 5,000 years ago...

, or flags, were used as rallying points. Consequently, regiments would have their ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

s slowly march with their colours between the soldiers' ranks to enable soldiers to recognise their regiments' colours.

Since 1748 Trooping the Colour has also marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign
Queen's Official Birthday
The Queen's Official Birthday is the selected day on which the birthday of the monarch of Commonwealth realms is officially celebrated in Commonwealth countries and in Fiji, which is now a republic. It is an invention of the early 20th century...

.
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Encyclopedia

Trooping the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiment
Regiment
A regiment is a major tactical military unit, composed of variable numbers of batteries, squadrons or battalions, commanded by a colonel or lieutenant colonel...

s of the British
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 and the Commonwealth armies
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. It has been a tradition of British infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 regiments since the 17th century, although the roots go back much earlier. On battlefields, a regiment's colours
Colours, standards and guidons
In military organizations, the practice of carrying colours, standards or Guidons, both to act as a rallying point for troops and to mark the location of the commander, is thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt some 5,000 years ago...

, or flags, were used as rallying points. Consequently, regiments would have their ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

s slowly march with their colours between the soldiers' ranks to enable soldiers to recognise their regiments' colours.

Since 1748 Trooping the Colour has also marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign
Queen's Official Birthday
The Queen's Official Birthday is the selected day on which the birthday of the monarch of Commonwealth realms is officially celebrated in Commonwealth countries and in Fiji, which is now a republic. It is an invention of the early 20th century...

. It is held in London annually on the second Saturday in June on Horse Guards Parade
Horse Guards Parade
Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground off Whitehall in central London, at grid reference . It is the site of the annual ceremonies of Trooping the Colour, which commemorates the monarch's official birthday, and Beating Retreat.-History:...

 by St. James's Park
St. James's Park
St. James's Park is a 23 hectare park in the City of Westminster, central London - the oldest of the Royal Parks of London. The park lies at the southernmost tip of the St. James's area, which was named after a leper hospital dedicated to St. James the Less.- Geographical location :St. James's...

, and coincides with the publication of the Birthday Honours List. Among the audience are the Royal Family, invited guests, ticketholders and the general public. The colourful ceremony, also known as "The Queen's Birthday Parade", is broadcast live by the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

.

The Queen travels down the Mall from Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 in a Royal Procession with a Sovereign's Escort of Household Cavalry
Household Cavalry
The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

 (also known as "Mounted Troops" or "Horse Guards"). After receiving a Royal Salute, she inspects her troops of the Household Division
Household Division
Household Division is a term used principally in the Commonwealth of Nations to describe a country’s most elite or historically senior military units, or those military units that provide ceremonial or protective functions associated directly with the head of state.-Historical Development:In...

, both Foot Guards
Foot Guards
-British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

 and Horse Guards
Horse Guards
Horse Guards or horse guards can refer to:* A Household Cavalry regiment:** Troops of the Horse Guards Regiment of the British Army from 1658-1788** The Royal Horse Guards, which is now part of the Blues and Royals...

. The King's Troop are also in attendance. Each year, one of the Foot Guards regiments is selected to troop their colour through the ranks of guards. Then the entire assembly of Household Division
Household Division
Household Division is a term used principally in the Commonwealth of Nations to describe a country’s most elite or historically senior military units, or those military units that provide ceremonial or protective functions associated directly with the head of state.-Historical Development:In...

 conducts a March Past around the Parade past the Queen, who receives their salute from the Saluting Base. (The Mounted Troops perform a Walk March and a Trot Past, and the King's Troop rank by with their guns, which are their colour.)

The music is provided by the Massed Bands of the Foot Guards
Foot Guards
-British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

 and the Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry
Household Cavalry
The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

, together with a Corps of Drums
Corps of Drums
A Corps of Drums is a type of military band, which originated in European armies in the 16th century. The main instruments of a Corps of Drums are the drum and the flute or fife. Unlike 'full' military marching bands, Corps of Drums exist within an infantry battalion. A Drum major is the leader of...

 and occasionally pipers, totalling approximately 400 musicians.

On return to Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

, the Queen watches a further march past from outside the gates. Following a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop in Green Park
Green Park
-External links:*...

, she leads the Royal Family
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

 onto the palace balcony for a Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 flypast
Flypast
Flypast is a term used in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and other countries to denote ceremonial or honorific flights by groups of aircraft and, rarely, by a single aircraft...

.

Regimental colours


A regiment's colours embody its spirit and service, as well as its fallen soldiers. The loss of a colour, or the capture of an enemy colour, were respectively considered the greatest shame, or the greatest glory on a battlefield. Consequently, regimental colours are venerated by officers and soldiers of all ranks, second only to the sovereign.

Only battalions of infantry regiments of the line carry colours; the Royal Artillery's colours, for example, are their guns. Rifle regiments did not form a line and thus never carried colours. Their battle honours are carried on their drums. The exception to this is the Honourable Artillery Company
Honourable Artillery Company
The Honourable Artillery Company was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII. Today it is a Registered Charity whose purpose is to attend to the “better defence of the realm"...

 who have both a stand of colours and guns.

Trooping the Colour is an old ceremony whereby the battalion would fall in by companies and the colour - party would "troop" or march the colours through the ranks so that every man would see that the colours were intact. This was done before and after every battle. This ceremony has been retained through time and is today largely ceremonial.

The Sovereign's Official Birthday


In the United Kingdom, Trooping the Colour is also known as the Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

's Birthday Parade. It has marked the official birthday of the Sovereign since 1748, and has occurred annually since 1820 (except in bad weather, periods of mourning and other exceptional circumstances). From the reign of King Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

, the Sovereign has taken the salute in person. It was Edward VII who moved Trooping the Colour to its June date, because of the vagaries of British weather.

Trooping the Colour allows the Household Division
Household Division
Household Division is a term used principally in the Commonwealth of Nations to describe a country’s most elite or historically senior military units, or those military units that provide ceremonial or protective functions associated directly with the head of state.-Historical Development:In...

 (i.e., the Foot Guards
Foot Guards
-British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

 and the Household Cavalry
Household Cavalry
The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

) and King's Troop to pay a personal tribute to the Sovereign with great pomp and pageantry. Crowds lining the route and in St. James's Park
St. James's Park
St. James's Park is a 23 hectare park in the City of Westminster, central London - the oldest of the Royal Parks of London. The park lies at the southernmost tip of the St. James's area, which was named after a leper hospital dedicated to St. James the Less.- Geographical location :St. James's...

 listen to music performed by both Massed and Mounted Bands.

The Queen has attended Trooping the Colour in every year of her reign except when prevented by a rail strike in 1955. Her Majesty started riding in a carriage in 1987.

Her 80th birthday in 2006 was marked by a large flypast
Flypast
Flypast is a term used in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and other countries to denote ceremonial or honorific flights by groups of aircraft and, rarely, by a single aircraft...

 of 40 planes led by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is a Royal Air Force flight which provides an aerial display group comprising an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane...

 and culminating with the Red Arrows
Red Arrows
The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force based at RAF Scampton, but due to move to RAF Waddington in 2011...

. It was followed by the only feu de joie
Feu de joie
A feu de joie is a rifle salute, described as a "running fire of guns", on occasions of public rejoicing of nation and/or ruling dynasty. It can also mean a bonfire lit in a public place as a token of joy....

 ("fire of joy") fired in her presence during her reign. In 2008, a flypast of 55 aircraft commemorated the RAF's 90th anniversary.

Rehearsals


The Major General's Review and the Colonel's Review are scheduled on the Saturdays two and one weeks preceding the Queen's Birthday Parade respectively. During these Reviews, commanding officers and occasionally the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 or the Duke of Edinburgh
Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh is a British royal title, named after the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, which has been conferred upon members of the British royal family only four times times since its creation in 1726...

 take the salute on the Queen's behalf.

Trooping the Colour: Participants and parade summary



On the day of Trooping the Colour, the Royal Standard is flown from Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 and from Horse Guards Building, while the Union Flag
Flag of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland uses as its national flag the royal banner known as the Union Flag or, popularly, Union Jack. The current design of the Union Flag dates from the union of Ireland and Great Britain in 1801...

 (colloquially known as the Union Jack), is flown from public buildings as well as the flags of the British Commonwealth of Nations, especially in recent years.

Foot Guards, including Escort To The Colour (No 1 Guard)


Nos 1-6 Guards - six companies of Foot Guards
Foot Guards
-British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

, each comprising 70 men and 3 officers - line two sides of the perimeter of Horse Guards Parade
Horse Guards Parade
Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground off Whitehall in central London, at grid reference . It is the site of the annual ceremonies of Trooping the Colour, which commemorates the monarch's official birthday, and Beating Retreat.-History:...

 in an extended "L" shape. This recalls the defensive formation known as the "Hollow Square."

All six companies are collectively commanded as "Guards..." and individually by company number, e.g., "No. 3 Guard..." Up to eight guards have taken part in a varying number over the years. There were six guards in 1939, five guards in 1954, seven from 1963 to 1967, and then eight guards up to the 1980s.

The battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

 trooping its colour in any given year is No. 1 Guard. During the parade, they are referred to as 'Escort For the Colour' (and, once they have collected their colour during the ceremony, as 'Escort To the Colour').

At the outset, the colour is held by the Colour Party - a Colour Sergeant and two other Guardsmen of No. 1 Guards, standing well-spaced on the northern side of Horse Guards Parade. Once obtained by the Regimental Sergeant Major of no. 1 Guard, the colour is borne through the ranks of Nos 2-6 Guards by an Ensign of no. 1 Guard. It is a great honour for a young officer to carry the colour in this ceremony, as historically only the most courageous Ensign
Ensign (rank)
Ensign is a junior rank of a commissioned officer in the armed forces of some countries, normally in the infantry or navy. As the junior officer in an infantry regiment was traditionally the carrier of the ensign flag, the rank itself acquired the name....

s were assigned to carry the regiment's colours in battle. Nowadays the honour is normally given to Second Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces.- United Kingdom and Commonwealth :The rank second lieutenant was introduced throughout the British Army in 1871 to replace the rank of ensign , although it had long been used in the Royal Artillery, Royal...

s who excel at drill
Parade (military)
A military parade is a formation of soldiers whose movement is restricted by close-order manouevering known as drilling or marching. The American usage is "formation or military review". The military parade is now mostly ceremonial, though soldiers from time immemorial up until the late 19th...

 and ceremonial and who are physically fit.

Mounted troops and Sovereign's Escort


Lining the edge of St. James's Park
St. James's Park
St. James's Park is a 23 hectare park in the City of Westminster, central London - the oldest of the Royal Parks of London. The park lies at the southernmost tip of the St. James's area, which was named after a leper hospital dedicated to St. James the Less.- Geographical location :St. James's...

 are the two regiments of Household Cavalry
Household Cavalry
The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

 - the Life Guards
Life Guards
Life Guards may refer to several military regiments:*Life Guards *Life Guards *Russian Imperial Guard*Garde du Corps , during the Ancien Régime...

 and the Blues and Royals
Blues and Royals
The Blues and Royals is a cavalry regiment of the British Army, part of the Household Cavalry. The Colonel-in-Chief is Her Majesty The Queen and the Colonel is HRH The Princess Royal...

 - as well as the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery
King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery
The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is a ceremonial unit of the British Army. It is a mounted unit and all of its soldiers are trained to drive a team of six horses that pull each of the six First World War-era 13-pounder state saluting guns...

 (commonly called "King's Troop").

In the Royal Procession, the Household Cavalry are termed Sovereign's Escort. Two companies ride ahead of the Queen's carriage and two behind it, and the Life Guards and Blues and Royals alternate these positions each year.

Commanding officers


Three mounted officers drawn from No 1 Guard give drill commands during the Parade. The most senior is the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting
Field Officer in Brigade Waiting
The Field Officer in Brigade Waiting holds an appointment in the Royal Household. He performs his duties at State Ceremonies under the authority of the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Lord Chamberlain and the Earl Marshal....

 (known as the Field Officer
Field Officer in Brigade Waiting
The Field Officer in Brigade Waiting holds an appointment in the Royal Household. He performs his duties at State Ceremonies under the authority of the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Lord Chamberlain and the Earl Marshal....

), assisted by the Brigade Major
Second-in-command
The Second-in-Command is the deputy commander of any British Army or Royal Marines unit, from battalion or regiment downwards. He or she is thus the equivalent of an Executive Officer in the United States Army...

. The Field Officer occupies a central position on the Parade ground. The third mounted officer is the Adjutant
Adjutant
Adjutant is a military rank or appointment. In some armies, including most English-speaking ones, it is an officer who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies, especially Francophone ones, it is an NCO , normally corresponding roughly to a Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.An Adjutant...

.

The Garrison Sergeant Major
Garrison Sergeant Major
A Garrison Sergeant Major in the British Army is the senior warrant officer of a garrison and holds the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1. The GSM London District, always a guardsman, holds one of the four most senior WO1 appointments in the British Army, and has military ceremonial responsibility...

 of London District
London District (British Army)
London District is the name given by the British Army to the area of operations encompassing the Greater London area. Established in 1870 as Home District, it was re-formed in 1905 as London District to be an independent district within the larger command structure of the army, and has remained so...

, who is not mounted, coordinates the whole event on the parade ground and the approach road from the Mall.

Military bands


With almost 400 musicians led by the massed Military band
Military band
A military band originally was a group of personnel that performs musical duties for military functions, usually for the armed forces. A typical military band consists mostly of wind and percussion instruments. The conductor of a band commonly bears the title of Bandmaster or Director of Music...

s of the Household Division on the field, the music forms an integral part of the day. The Massed Bands of the Foot Guards
Foot Guards
-British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

 numbers over 200 musicians. Joining them are the Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry
Household Cavalry
The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

. There is also a Corps of Drums
Corps of Drums
A Corps of Drums is a type of military band, which originated in European armies in the 16th century. The main instruments of a Corps of Drums are the drum and the flute or fife. Unlike 'full' military marching bands, Corps of Drums exist within an infantry battalion. A Drum major is the leader of...

 and on some occasions, pipers from the pipe band
Pipe band
A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. The term used by military pipe bands, pipes and drums, is also common....

s of the Scots Guards
Scots Guards
The Scots Guards is a regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, whose origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland...

 and Irish Guards
Irish Guards
The Irish Guards , part of the Guards Division, is a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army.Along with the Royal Irish Regiment, it is one of the two Irish regiments remaining in the British Army. The Irish Guards recruit in Northern Ireland and the Irish neighbourhoods of major British cities...

.

Summary of the parade design


The entire Parade is best understood as an exercise of several elements carried out in slow and quick march time, with the Trooping the Colour phase forming the centrepiece of the entire parade.
  • The Queen inspects first the Foot Guards
    Foot Guards
    -British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

     and then the Household Cavalry
    Household Cavalry
    The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

     and King's Troop, to slow and quick march music respectively.
  • Then the Massed Bands "troop" before the Queen in slow and quick time. A lone drummer breaks away.
  • Drummer's Call signals No. 1 Guard - the Escort for the Colour - to march to the centre of the field and obtain their colour from the Colour Party. The Massed Bands execute their legendary "Spin Wheel
    Spin Wheel
    The Spin Wheel is a British drill manoeuvre. The manoeuvre is not written down, but is instead passed down from one generation to the next.The manoeuvre is performed at the Trooping of the Colour by The Massed Bands, Corps of Drums, and Pipes and Drums of Her Majesty's Guards Division, and was...

    ".
  • As "Escort TO the Colour" No. 1 Guard then slowly troops their regimental colour through the ranks of nos 6-2 Guards.
  • After forming divisions, Nos 1-6 Guards march past the Queen in slow and quick time.
  • To music from the Mounted Bands, the King's Troop lead Household Cavalry
    Household Cavalry
    The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

     past the Queen, first in walk march and then in sitting trot (i.e., slow and quick time for the horses). The Mounted Bands then salute the Queen.
  • Finally, led by the Sovereign's Escort, the Massed Bands play the Queen back to Buckingham Palace, the Foot Guards following.

The Queen's Birthday Parade in detail


The entire parade is supervised by the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting
Field Officer in Brigade Waiting
The Field Officer in Brigade Waiting holds an appointment in the Royal Household. He performs his duties at State Ceremonies under the authority of the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Lord Chamberlain and the Earl Marshal....

, known as the Field Officer and the parade commander in charge, with the assistance of the Brigade Major
Second-in-command
The Second-in-Command is the deputy commander of any British Army or Royal Marines unit, from battalion or regiment downwards. He or she is thus the equivalent of an Executive Officer in the United States Army...

 and the Adjutant
Adjutant
Adjutant is a military rank or appointment. In some armies, including most English-speaking ones, it is an officer who assists a more senior officer, while in other armies, especially Francophone ones, it is an NCO , normally corresponding roughly to a Staff Sergeant or Warrant Officer.An Adjutant...

, all on horseback, and joined by the London District Garrison Sergeant Major, who is unmounted and coordinates the proceedings of the ceremony.

March on


A detail of Guardsmen bearing marker flags marches on, to mark the positions of nos 1-6 Guards. (These marker flags are the respective company colours from each regiment.)

Preceded by their regimental bands, Nos 1-6 Guards march into position. No. 1 Guard are "Escort For the Colour."
  • Nos 1-5 Guards align in ranks of two on the west side of the parade ground facing Horse Guards Building.
  • Nos 6 Guard lines up perpendicular to them on the north side, thus making an "L" shape.
  • The Massed Bands are on the south side, by the gardens of 10 Downing Street
    10 Downing Street
    10 Downing Street, colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, who is now always the Prime Minister....

    .
  • Adjacent to No. 6 Guard is the Colour Party.
  • The King's Troop, the Household Cavalry, and their Mounted Bands, form up behind Nos 1-5 Guards.

With the Foot Guards in their full dress and the Mounted Bands in state dress uniform, the assembled ranks of Household Division make a colourful spectacle.

Arrival of the Sovereign



Senior members of the Royal Family
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

 arrive in two barouche
Barouche
A barouche was a fashionable type of horse-drawn carriage in the 19th century. Developed from the calash of the 18th century, it was a four-wheeled, shallow vehicle with two double seats inside, arranged vis-à-vis, so that the sitters on the front seat faced those on the back seat...

 carriages. No. 3 Guard opens ranks to allow the carriages to pass. (The Royal Family enters Horse Guards
Horse Guards (building)
Horse Guards is a large grade I listed building in the Palladian style between Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade in London, England. It was built between 1751 and 1753 by John Vardy to a design by William Kent. The building was constructed on the site of the Guard House of the old Whitehall Palace,...

 Building to view the ceremony from a central first floor window in the Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

's former office.)

Preceded by the Sovereign's Escort, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is the husband of Elizabeth II. He is the United Kingdom's longest-serving consort and the oldest serving spouse of a reigning British monarch....

 (Colonel of the Grenadier Guards) drive down the Mall
The Mall (London)
The Mall in central London is the road running from Buckingham Palace at its western end to Admiralty Arch and on to Trafalgar Square at its eastern end. It then crosses Spring Gardens, which was where the Metropolitan Board of Works and, for a number of years, the London County Council were...

 in the Royal Procession. They are seated in Queen Victoria's 1842 ivory-mounted phaeton
Phaeton (carriage)
Phaeton is the early 19th-century term for a sporty open carriage drawn by a single horse or a pair, typically with four extravagantly large wheels, very lightly sprung, with a minimal body, fast and dangerous. It usually had no sidepieces in front of the seats...

 drawn by two Windsor Grey
Windsor Grey
The term Windsor Grey is given to grey horses used by the Royalty of the United Kingdom to draw carriages and coaches in various ceremonial processions and, since 1986, when The Queen is Trooping the Colour. They are stabled in the Royal Mews...

 horses. Directly behind them ride the Royal Colonels: the Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

 (Welsh Guards), Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent is a title which has been created various times in the peerages of Great Britain and the United Kingdom, most recently as a royal dukedom for the fourth son of George V.-Pre-history:...

 (Scots Guards), Princess Royal
Princess Royal
Princess Royal is a style customarily awarded by a British monarch to his or her eldest daughter. The style is held for life, so a princess cannot be given the style during the lifetime of another Princess Royal...

 (Blues and Royals), and from 2011, the newest Royal Colonel: the Duke of Cambridge
Duke of Cambridge
Duke of Cambridge is a title which has been conferred upon members of the British royal family several times. It was first used as a designation for Charles Stuart , the eldest son of James, Duke of York , though he was never formally created Duke of Cambridge...

 (Irish Guards). Other officers complete the Royal Procession.

As the phaeton arrives on Horse Guards Parade, the Royal Standard is released and flown from the roof of Horse Guards
Horse Guards (building)
Horse Guards is a large grade I listed building in the Palladian style between Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade in London, England. It was built between 1751 and 1753 by John Vardy to a design by William Kent. The building was constructed on the site of the Guard House of the old Whitehall Palace,...

. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh alight at the Saluting Base.

The Field Officer commences the Parade with the command: "Guards - Royal Salute - Present Arms!" and the national anthem
National anthem
A national anthem is a generally patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions and struggles of its people, recognized either by a nation's government as the official national song, or by convention through use by the people.- History :Anthems rose to prominence...

 is played.

Inspection of the Line



The Queen re-enters the phaeton and is driven before and behind the long line of assembled guards. BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 television commentaries every year emphasise the Queen's knowledge of the attributes of her Guards, and single out "steadiness" as a highly prized quality for a guardsman.

The accompanying marches always carry a flavour of the regiment whose colour is being trooped, lending the Royal inspection a unique atmosphere. While she passes the six companies of Foot Guards on her left, a slow march or aire is played. Once the phaeton turns around the rear of No. 6 Guard, the music changes to a quick march. The Queen is conveyed back up the line, passing the Household Cavalry and King's Troop stationed on her right.

Massed Bands Troop



With the Queen once more seated at the Saluting Base, the command "Troop!" is given by the Field Officer, and the parade stands at attention and changes arms. (This is not to be confused with the trooping of the colour itself, which occurs later in the ceremony.) Under the command of the Senior Drum Major
Drum Major
A drum major is the leader of a marching band, drum and bugle corps, or pipe band, usually positioned at the head of the band or corps. The drum major, who is often dressed in more ornate clothing than the rest of the band or corps, is responsible for providing commands to the ensemble regarding...

, the Massed Bands march and countermarch at Horse Guards Parade in slow and quick time.

The slow march music is traditionally the Waltz from Les Huguenots
Les Huguenots
Les Huguenots is a French opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer, one of the most popular and spectacular examples of the style of grand opera. The opera is in five acts and premiered in Paris in 1836. The libretto was written by Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps....

. During the quick march, a lone drummer from the Corps of Drums
Corps of Drums
A Corps of Drums is a type of military band, which originated in European armies in the 16th century. The main instruments of a Corps of Drums are the drum and the flute or fife. Unlike 'full' military marching bands, Corps of Drums exist within an infantry battalion. A Drum major is the leader of...

 breaks away from the Massed Bands, marching to two paces to the right of No. 1 Guard to take his post.

The Trooping of the Colour phase is initiated by the lone drummer's eight-bar "Drummer's Call", signalling the Captain of No. 1 Guard to cede his command to the Subaltern of No.1 Guard. It slopes arms, while the rest is told to change arms and stands at ease on the direction of the Field Officer.

Escort for the Colour obtains the Colour



As Escort For the Colour, No. 1 Guard performs the centrepiece of the parade.

An orderly takes the pace stick
Pace stick
A pace stick is a long stick usually carried by warrant officer and non-commissioned officer drill instructors in the British and Commonwealth armed forces & police forces as a symbol of authority and as an aid to military drill....

 from the Regimental Sergeant-Major (RSM), positioned behind the Escort For the Colour, thus freeing the RSM to draw his sword - the only time a British warrant officer
Warrant Officer
A warrant officer is an officer in a military organization who is designated an officer by a warrant, as distinguished from a commissioned officer who is designated an officer by a commission, or from non-commissioned officer who is designated an officer by virtue of seniority.The rank was first...

 ever does so on parade. The Subaltern then commands No.1 Guard to move into close order, and then dresses it. Then, led by the Subaltern with the Ensign following, and with the Regimental Sergeant-Major marching behind the company, the Escort For the Colour quick marches onto the field to "The British Grenadiers
The British Grenadiers
The British Grenadiers is a marching song for the grenadier units of the British and Commonwealth militaries, the tune of which dates from the 17th century. It is the Regimental Quick March of the Grenadier Guards, Corps of Royal Engineers, the Honourable Artillery Company and the Royal Regiment of...

". (This tune is always used irrespective of which regiment's colour is being trooped, because the right flank of every battalion used to be a grenadier company.) The Escort marks time while the Massed Bands "clear the line of march" and move to the front of the Guards. Fifteen steps away from the Colour Party, the music halts and four paces later, the 'Escort for the Colour' halts in place.

The Guards are then called to attention and then change and slope arms under the direction of the Field Officer, while the Household Cavalry are also called to attention by the commander of the Sovereign's Escort.

The RSM marches around to the front of the Escort and, followed by the Ensign, approaches the Colour Party. Having saluted the colour with his sword, the Sergeant-Major takes it from the Colour Sergeant, freeing him to change and later slope arms. The RSM turns, marches to the Ensign, and presents the colour to him. The Ensign salutes the colour with his sword, sheathes the sword without taking his eyes off the colour, and takes possession of it.

Having obtained their colour, No. 1 Guard (formerly known as "Escort FOR the Colour") is now termed "Escort TO the Colour." By then, the Massed Bands, now with the line cleared, face front, with the Corps of Drums, Pipe Bands and the Sr. Director of Music leading.

The Escort positions itself to troop their Colour


To the first six bars of "God Save The Queen", the Escort To the Colour presents arms; simultaneously, turning outward at an angle of 45°, the NCOs (non-commissioned officers) at the four corners of the Escort port arms, as symbolic maximum protection for the colour.

The Escort To the Colour and Colour Party slope arms afterwards. The Colour Sergeant marches to the right and to the rear of the Escort. Once the Colour Party, Ensign and Regimental Sergeant-Major have joined the Escort, the RSM repositions himself to the left of and behind of the Escort.

Spinwheel of the Massed Bands


As the Escort To the Colour slow march down the field towards No. 6 Guard to begin their colour trooping, the Massed Bands perform their unique anti-clockwise "spinwheel" manoevre. This, a 90° turn in restricted space, is performed while playing the slow march "Escort To the Colour."

Prime responsibility for the celebrated spinwheel, which is largely individual and instinctive, rests with the Garrison Sergeant Major
Garrison Sergeant Major
A Garrison Sergeant Major in the British Army is the senior warrant officer of a garrison and holds the rank of Warrant Officer Class 1. The GSM London District, always a guardsman, holds one of the four most senior WO1 appointments in the British Army, and has military ceremonial responsibility...

.
A 'wheel' is not an easy manoeuvre with even a small body of troops, and with a block of 400 men the normal wheel is impossible. The massed band therefore pivots on its own centre, so that certain outer ranks and files march long distances in a hurry while the centre and inner ranks loiter with extreme intent, or merely mark time. Yet others not only step sideways but backwards as well. This highly complex movement is called a 'spin-wheel', the details of which can be found in no drill book or manual of ceremonial. Its complexity defies description, and if the truth were known, many of the participants know not whither they go or, on arrival, how they got there. The spin-wheel is almost an art form and each performance of it, although similar in essentials, is different in detail. Most of the performers are adjusting their actions to suit the needs of the spin-wheel of the moment, having adjusted their movements quite otherwise on other occasions.


Once the Escort reaches the edge of No. 6 Guard, the music stops, and the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting
Field Officer in Brigade Waiting
The Field Officer in Brigade Waiting holds an appointment in the Royal Household. He performs his duties at State Ceremonies under the authority of the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Lord Chamberlain and the Earl Marshal....

 orders the entire parade (except the Escort) to present arms. The music changes to "The Grenadiers' Slow March."

Trooping the Colour through the ranks


To the strains of "The Grenadiers' Slow March", the Escort To the Colour then troops the colour down the long line of Nos 6-2 Guards. The colour itself is borne by the Ensign in front of the line of Guards, but the ranks of the Escort interweave with their ranks. For Nos 6-2 Guards, who maintain the 'present arms' position, the long trooping, especially on a hot day, requires stamina.

Eventually the Escort arrives back at its original position as no. 1 Guard - from where it first marched off in quick time. Their Captain, who had temporarily ceded his command to the Subaltern, resumes his command over No. 1 Guard by ordering them to present arms, thus bringing the Escort back in line with Nos 2-6 Guards. The entire parade is now ordered by the Field Officer to slope arms, thus concluding the Trooping phase.

The Trooping phase is followed by the March Past in Slow and Quick Time of the Foot Guards
Foot Guards
-British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

 and then the Household Cavalry
Household Cavalry
The term Household Cavalry is used across the Commonwealth to describe the cavalry of the Household Divisions, a country’s most elite or historically senior military groupings or those military groupings that provide functions associated directly with the Head of state.Canada's Governor General's...

 with King's Troop, also in slow and quick time.

Form Divisions to prepare for March Past



The Field Officer gives the command, "Officers, take post." Nos 1 to 5 Guard then "retire", about-turning and right-forming into review formation. Nos 1 to 5 Guard then about-turn again as the Corps of Drums
Corps of Drums
A Corps of Drums is a type of military band, which originated in European armies in the 16th century. The main instruments of a Corps of Drums are the drum and the flute or fife. Unlike 'full' military marching bands, Corps of Drums exist within an infantry battalion. A Drum major is the leader of...

 play. (Since No. 6 Guard is already standing at right angles to the other five companies it does not need to execute this movement.)

Once intervals are established, the Field Officer salutes the Queen and informs her that the Foot Guards are ready to slow-march, then commands, "Guards will march past in slow and quick time!" and orders the slow march.

Foot Guards march past in slow and quick time



No. 1 Guard - the Escort - leads the six companies for two circuits of Horse Guards Parade, saluting the Queen as they pass. The corners of the field are negotiated with the complex Left Form manoeuvre. Commands of "Change direction - left!" are followed by "Left...Form!"

At the end of both the Slow and Quick March Past, the Field Officer rides out to salute the Queen with his sword, telling her that the march past segment is officially done.

Slow March Past


Neutral slow marches start and conclude this section. The Guards are preceded past the Saluting Base by the Field Officer
Field Officer in Brigade Waiting
The Field Officer in Brigade Waiting holds an appointment in the Royal Household. He performs his duties at State Ceremonies under the authority of the Lord Great Chamberlain, the Lord Chamberlain and the Earl Marshal....

 and the Major of the Parade
Second-in-command
The Second-in-Command is the deputy commander of any British Army or Royal Marines unit, from battalion or regiment downwards. He or she is thus the equivalent of an Executive Officer in the United States Army...

, who salute the Queen with their swords and eyes right.

To the strains of their Regimental Marches, each of Nos 1-6 Guards passes before the Queen with their eyes right, their regimental officers saluting with swords. The leading company, No. 1 Guard - the Escort to the Colour - has a particular honour. The Ensign lowers the colour - the 'flourish'. The Queen acknowledges it with a bow of the head, and the Royal Colonels salute the regiment. Once past the Saluting Base, the Colour is raised again - the 'recover' - and an "eyes front" is ordered.

Each company's salute is acknowledged by the Queen and the Royal Colonels.

Quick March Past


For this circuit, the colour is at the rear of the Escort (No. 1 Guard), protected by the Colour Party. As before, their regimental marches are played as each Guard passes before the Queen with eyes right. However, this being a quick march, the officers do not salute with swords. As with the slow march past, neutral marches start and conclude this section.

The Massed Bands, led by the Corps of Drums and the Pipes and Drums, march away to allow the Mounted Bands on to the ground. By then, the Foot Guards have ended their march, and are now back in place and dressed.

Mounted troops ride past



The Mounted Bands, in state dress, led by the two drum horses, and the Director of Music of the Household Cavalry, ride slowly onto the field, traditionally to the tune "Preobrajensky."

It is the turn of Household Cavalry and King's Troop to complete two circuits of Horse Guards Parade. For the horses, slow and quick time correspond to a walk march and a sitting trot, respectively.

Walk march


Salutes are again given to the Queen, and returned by her and the Royal Colonels to the colours as they pass by.

The Royal Horse Artillery, marching to the "Royal Artillery Slow March" and then the "March from Aida", are first, taking precedence over all other units when on parade with its guns. When the King's Troop passes the Saluting Base, the Queen acknowledges their leading gun as their colour.

The Life Guards, in red jackets and white plumes, are next, followed by the Blues and Royals, in blue jackets and red plumes. The sequence of regimental marches is: "Life Guards' Slow March", followed by "Blues and Royals' Slow March", and then "The Royals."

Riding at the rear of the Household Cavalry are the farrier
Farrier
A farrier is a specialist in equine hoof care, including the trimming and balancing of horses' hooves and the placing of shoes on their hooves...

s, one for each regiment, carrying their glinting axes and flanked by a soldier of each regiment. (The Life Guards farrier wears a black plume rather than the usual regimental white.)

The two Household Cavalry regiments take turns to parade and the job of parading the Queen's Cavalry Standard of either of the two regiments alternates yearly between the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals.

Trot past


A State Trumpeter of either of the two Household Cavalry Regiments plays "The Trot" to signal the beginning of the sitting trot past. "The Keel Row" is traditionally played, and much dust is raised by the horses.

As the trot past ends the Mounted Bands salute the Queen, the drum horse riders crossing their drumsticks above their heads. They then proceed back to the east side of Horse Guards Parade and halt in place.

Preparing for March Off


Their Director of Music turns inwards on his horse as a signal to the Field Officer that the Household Cavalry are in position.

The Field Officer rides towards the Saluting Base, informing the Queen that the Guards are ready to march off. During the final Royal Salute, the colour of No. 1 Guard is lowered to the ground by the Ensign.

Forming divisions once more, accompanied by the Corps of Drums, the Guards prepare to march off, and the Household Cavalry leave the field.

The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery
King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery
The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery is a ceremonial unit of the British Army. It is a mounted unit and all of its soldiers are trained to drive a team of six horses that pull each of the six First World War-era 13-pounder state saluting guns...

 leaves Horse Guards Parade for Green Park
Green Park
-External links:*...

 (adjacent to Buckingham Palace)to formally commence the Royal 41-gun Salute. (The Honourable Artillery Company
Honourable Artillery Company
The Honourable Artillery Company was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII. Today it is a Registered Charity whose purpose is to attend to the “better defence of the realm"...

 also prepares, at the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

, to fire a symbolic Royal 62-gun Salute, this gun salute being for Royal anniversaries.)

Marching off


Led by the Massed Bands, the Queen places herself at the head of her Foot Guards. The entire parade of 1,000 soldiers and 400 musicians marches up the Mall towards Buckingham Palace.
The Markers then march off the grounds carrying the regimental company colours on the marker flags.
The King's Troop and the HAC, now in place, get ready for commence firing their respective gun salutes during the Royal Family's arrival at the palace. At the same time, the Old and New Queen's Guards, now performing the Changing of the Guard in the Palace forecourt also prepare for the Royal carriages' arrival and to salute the Queen on her carriage when she arrives.

After the ceremony



Each year when the Queen returns to Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

, two detachments of the new Queen's Guard enter the forecourt, forming up opposite the old Queen's Guard. The Queen then stops at the gateway together with the Duke of Edinburgh. Standing before the central gateway they then receive the salute of the remainder of the Guards and then the mounted troops. As they file past, their regimental marches are played by the Massed and Mounted Bands respectively. The Royal Family
Royal family
A royal family is the extended family of a king or queen regnant. The term imperial family appropriately describes the extended family of an emperor or empress, while the terms "ducal family", "grand ducal family" or "princely family" are more appropriate to describe the relatives of a reigning...

 appreciates the spectacle from the balcony.

The Queen's phaeton passes into the Palace between the Old and New Queen's Guards, with both Queen's Guards saluting her. The usual semi-daily Changing of the Guard continues on the forecourt of the Palace.

The gun salutes begin at the arrival of the Queen at Buckingham Palace, with the King's Troop firing a 41-gun Royal Gun Salute in Green Park
Green Park
-External links:*...

 and the Honourable Artillery Company firing a 62-gun Royal Gun Salute from the Tower of London grounds.

Finally The Queen and the Royal Family appear before the waiting crowds on the Palace balcony for a flypast
Flypast
Flypast is a term used in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and other countries to denote ceremonial or honorific flights by groups of aircraft and, rarely, by a single aircraft...

 by the Royal Air Force, often featuring the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight is a Royal Air Force flight which provides an aerial display group comprising an Avro Lancaster, a Supermarine Spitfire and a Hawker Hurricane...

 and the Red Arrows
Red Arrows
The Red Arrows, officially known as the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, is the aerobatics display team of the Royal Air Force based at RAF Scampton, but due to move to RAF Waddington in 2011...

.

Regimental marches of the Foot Guards


Below are words and music for most of the regimental marches.

SLOW MARCHES
  • Grenadier Guards: "Scipio" by Händel
    HANDEL
    HANDEL was the code-name for the UK's National Attack Warning System in the Cold War. It consisted of a small console consisting of two microphones, lights and gauges. The reason behind this was to provide a back-up if anything failed....

  • Coldstream Guards: "Figaro" (the tune is "Non piu andrai farfallone amoroso" from Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro)
  • Scots Guards: "The Garb of Old Gaul"
  • Irish Guards: "Let Erin Remember"
  • Welsh Guards: "Men of Harlech"


QUICK MARCHES
  • Grenadier Guards
    Grenadier Guards
    The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...

    : "The British Grenadiers"
  • Coldstream Guards
    Coldstream Guards
    Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....

    : "Milanollo"
  • Scots Guards
    Scots Guards
    The Scots Guards is a regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, whose origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland...

    : "Hielan' Laddie"
  • Irish Guards
    Irish Guards
    The Irish Guards , part of the Guards Division, is a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army.Along with the Royal Irish Regiment, it is one of the two Irish regiments remaining in the British Army. The Irish Guards recruit in Northern Ireland and the Irish neighbourhoods of major British cities...

    : "St Patrick's Day" whose lyrics were the poem "Pulse of an Irishman" (Beethoven did an arrangement of the march as part of a song cycle of Scots and Irish tunes).
  • Welsh Guards
    Welsh Guards
    The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...

    : "The Rising of the Lark"


(See Wikipedia articles on "Men of Harlech
Men of Harlech
"Men of Harlech" or "The March of the Men of Harlech" is a song and military march which is traditionally said to describe events during the seven year long siege of Harlech Castle between 1461 and 1468. Commanded by Constable Dafydd ap Ieuan, the garrison held out in what is the longest known...

", "The British Grenadiers
The British Grenadiers
The British Grenadiers is a marching song for the grenadier units of the British and Commonwealth militaries, the tune of which dates from the 17th century. It is the Regimental Quick March of the Grenadier Guards, Corps of Royal Engineers, the Honourable Artillery Company and the Royal Regiment of...

", and "Hielan' Laddie".)

List of regiments trooping the colour


Since only one colour can be trooped down the ranks at a time, each year a battalion of one of the five Foot Guards
Foot Guards
-British Army:The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six regiments of foot guards, five of which still exist. The Royal Guards Reserve Regiment was a reserve formation of the Household Brigade in existence from 1900-1901...

 regiments is selected to troop its colours.

2011: 1st Battalion, Scots Guards
Scots Guards
The Scots Guards is a regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, whose origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland...

 - first time a battalion not stationed as part of London District has trooped. Non-participant regiment: Irish Guards

2010: 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...

 Non Participant Guards: Welsh and Irish Guards

2009: 1st Battalion, Irish Guards
Irish Guards
The Irish Guards , part of the Guards Division, is a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army.Along with the Royal Irish Regiment, it is one of the two Irish regiments remaining in the British Army. The Irish Guards recruit in Northern Ireland and the Irish neighbourhoods of major British cities...

. Non-participant Guards: Welsh Guards

2008: 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards
Welsh Guards
The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...

.

2007: No. 7 Company, Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards
Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....

 The Irish Guards did not appear in this Trooping. In addition, the 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards was originally scheduled to troop their Colour but an operational deployment prevented this.

2006: 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards
Welsh Guards
The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...

 Non-participating Guards: Irish Guards

2005: 1st Battalion, Irish Guards
Irish Guards
The Irish Guards , part of the Guards Division, is a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army.Along with the Royal Irish Regiment, it is one of the two Irish regiments remaining in the British Army. The Irish Guards recruit in Northern Ireland and the Irish neighbourhoods of major British cities...

. The Welsh Guards did not appear in this Trooping.

2004: 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...



2003: 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...



2002: 1st Battalion, Scots Guards
Scots Guards
The Scots Guards is a regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, whose origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland...

. The Welsh Guards and Irish Guards did not appear in this Trooping.

2001: Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...



2000: No. 7 Company, Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards
Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....



1999: 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards
Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....



1998: 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards
Welsh Guards
The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...



1997: F Company, Scots Guards
Scots Guards
The Scots Guards is a regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, whose origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland...

. The Welsh Guards did not appear in this Trooping.

1996: 1st Battalion, Irish Guards
Irish Guards
The Irish Guards , part of the Guards Division, is a Foot Guards regiment of the British Army.Along with the Royal Irish Regiment, it is one of the two Irish regiments remaining in the British Army. The Irish Guards recruit in Northern Ireland and the Irish neighbourhoods of major British cities...



1995: 1st Battalion, Scots Guards
Scots Guards
The Scots Guards is a regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, whose origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland...



1994: Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...



1993: 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards
Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....



1992: 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...



1991: 2nd Battalion, Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...



1990: 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards
Welsh Guards
The Welsh Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division.-Creation :The Welsh Guards came into existence on 26 February 1915 by Royal Warrant of His Majesty King George V in order to include Wales in the national component to the Foot Guards, "..though the order...



Since 1993, the 2nd Battalions of the Grenadier Guards
Grenadier Guards
The Grenadier Guards is an infantry regiment of the British Army. It is the most senior regiment of the Guards Division and, as such, is the most senior regiment of infantry. It is not, however, the most senior regiment of the Army, this position being attributed to the Life Guards...

, Coldstream Guards
Coldstream Guards
Her Majesty's Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, also known officially as the Coldstream Guards , is a regiment of the British Army, part of the Guards Division or Household Division....

 and Scots Guards
Scots Guards
The Scots Guards is a regiment of the Guards Division of the British Army, whose origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland...

 have been in "suspended animation" - they are represented in the parade by the three incremental companies
Guards Incremental Companies
The Guards Division of the British Army contains a total of five battalions, one from each of the five regiments of Foot Guards. However, before the Options for Change defence review in 1992, there were eight battalions:*1st and 2nd Bn, Grenadier Guards...

.

The number of soldiers participating in Trooping the Colour in London has declined over the years due to defence budget cuts in Household Division battalion
Battalion
A battalion is a military unit of around 300–1,200 soldiers usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by either a Lieutenant Colonel or a Colonel...

s as well as the battalions' commitments to military and peacekeeping operations overseas. This gives some of the units little time to practice ceremonial functions. However, the format of the ceremony has remained the same over the centuries following routines of old battle formations used in the era of musket warfare.

Dates held from 1895


(Source:)
YearDateColourSalute taken byRemarks
1895 Fri 24 May 1st Battalion Scots Guards HM Queen Victoria At Windsor Castle
1895 Sat 25 May 2nd Battalion Scots Guards HRH The Prince of Wales At Horse Guards Parade
1896 Wed 20 May 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards HRH The Prince of Wales
1897 Mon 24 May 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards HRH The Prince of Wales
1898 Sat 21 May 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards HRH The Prince of Wales
1899 Sat 3 June 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards HRH The Prince of Wales
1900 Wed 23 May 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards HRH The Prince of Wales

Australia


In Australia the Trooping the Queen's Colour takes place annually on the Queen's Birthday Holiday at the Royal Military College Duntroon in Canberra. The Queen's Colour was trooped for the first time at the Royal Military College of Australia on the Queen's Birthday Parade in 1956, a practice which has continued since then. Colours were first presented to the Corps of Staff Cadets by His Majesty King George VI when, as Duke of York, he visited Australia in 1927. These colours are now lodged in Patterson Hall, the Headquarters of the Royal Military College of Australia. Colours were again presented by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 10 May 1988 and most recently on 22 October 2011 during a brief visit to Australia, coinciding with RMC Duntroon's centenary year.

The Champion Company of the Corps of Staff Cadets is named after the Sovereign's Company and it carries the Queen Elizabeth II's Banner, which was first presented to the Corps of Staff Cadets by Her Majesty the Queen Mother on February 26, 1958. The Sovereign's Company is entitled to carry the Banner on all ceremonial parades as well as escorting the Queen's Colour during the Trooping of the Colour. The Governor-General of Australia, being Her Majesty's representative in the Commonwealth, is the reviewing officer of the parade.

Canada


In Canada the Trooping the Colour ceremony takes place, with a trooping of the Queen's Colour, only for the Queen, members of the Royal Family, the Governor General
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

, or a Lieutenant-Governor, on Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

, or in honour of the Queen's Birthday, on Victoria Day
Victoria Day
Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday. The date is also, simultaneously, that on which the current reigning Canadian sovereign's official birthday is recognized...

.

List of regiments trooping the colour in Canada

  • The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, Hamilton, Ontario
    Hamilton, Ontario
    Hamilton is a port city in the Canadian province of Ontario. Conceived by George Hamilton when he purchased the Durand farm shortly after the War of 1812, Hamilton has become the centre of a densely populated and industrialized region at the west end of Lake Ontario known as the Golden Horseshoe...

    , 2002
  • Ceremonial Guard
    Ceremonial Guard
    The Ceremonial Guard is an ad hoc military unit in the Canadian Forces with elements drawn principally from two Primary Reserve regiments of Foot Guards: The Governor General's Foot Guards from Ottawa and the Canadian Grenadier Guards from Montreal...

     of the Canadian Forces
    Canadian Forces
    The Canadian Forces , officially the Canadian Armed Forces , are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."...

    , Ottawa, Ontario
    • Governor General's Foot Guards
      Governor General's Foot Guards
      The Governor General's Foot Guards is one of three Household regiments in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Army, along with The Governor General's Horse Guards and the Canadian Grenadier Guards. The GGFG is the most senior militia infantry regiment in Canada."Civitas et Princeps Cura Nostra" is...

    • The Canadian Grenadier Guards
      The Canadian Grenadier Guards
      The Canadian Grenadier Guards is the second most senior and oldest infantry regiment in the Reserve Force of the Canadian Forces. Located in Montreal, its primary role is the provision of combat-ready troops in support of Canadian regular infantry...

  • The Governor General's Horse Guards
    The Governor General's Horse Guards
    The Governor General's Horse Guards is an armoured reconnaissance regiment in the Primary Reserve of the Canadian Army, part of Land Force Central Area's 32 Canadian Brigade Group. Based in Toronto, it is the most senior reserve regiment in Canada, and the only Household Cavalry regiment of...

  • The Canadian Guards
    The Canadian Guards
    The Canadian Guards was an infantry regiment of the Canadian Army that served in the same role as the five regiments of Foot Guards in the British Army...

     - disbanded (reduced to nil strength)
  • The Princess Louise Fusiliers
    The Princess Louise Fusiliers
    The Princess Louise Fusiliers is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces.-History:Based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this infantry regiment traces its local roots as a Halifax unit of Militia back to June 18, 1798 when Sir Edward Cornwalis formed a local Militia under his own command...

  • The Grey and Simcoe Foresters
    The Grey and Simcoe Foresters
    The Grey and Simcoe Foresters is a Primary Reserve infantry regiment of the Canadian Forces. It is part of Land Force Central Area's 32 Canadian Brigade Group...

    , Owen Sound, Ontario
    Owen Sound, Ontario
    Owen Sound , the county seat of Grey County, is a city in Southern Ontario, Canada...

    , 1983

Malaysia



Also part of the Commonwealth but an independent monarchy, Malaysia performs Trooping the Colours every first Saturday of June, the official birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the head of state of Malaysia. The office was established in 1957 when the Federation of Malaya gained independence....

, the elected Malaysian King, in front of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the Raja Permaisuri Agong
Raja Permaisuri Agong
Raja Permaisuri Agong, or in full, Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong, is the title given to the Queen of Malaysia, consort of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.The holders of this office have been:...

, the Prime Minister of Malaysia
Prime Minister of Malaysia
The Prime Minister of Malaysia is the indirectly elected head of government of Malaysia. He is officially appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the head of state, who in HM's judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House of Representatives , the...

, the Deputy Prime Minister, and other officials of the Government, and officers of the Malaysian Armed Forces, of which the King is the Commander-in-Chief as prescribed by the Malaysian Constitution of 1957 as amended.

The Malaysian trooping, a spectacular event, coincides with the publication of an Honours List for the King's Birthday on the same day. It also incorporates many elements of the British Trooping ceremony, including a Royal Procession before and after the parade, The Sovereign's Escort, Saluting Base at Merdeka Square or at the Merdeka Stadium, Royal Inspection, the duties of Field Officer, Major of the Parade and Adjutant officers and the NCO duties of Regt. Sergeant Majors and Color Sergeants, the Royal Salute, 21-gun salutes by the Royal Regiment of Artillery, and flypasts (flying the Malaysian flag and the flags of the Armed forces). It is conducted in Malay and includes prayers, in the Islamic traditions of the Malaysian Armed Forces, which is one of the reasons of its uniqueness. Motorized vehicles are used in the Royal Procession from the Royal Malaysian Police
Royal Malaysian Police
The Royal Malaysia Police is a part of the security forces structure in Malaysia. The force is a centralised organization with responsibilities ranging from traffic control to intelligence gathering. Its headquarters is located at Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur. The police force is led by an...

. The main differences are that five colours are trooped, covering all three branches of the Armed Forces, and some of marches played are locally composed. This threefold representation is reflected in the composition of the Colours Party, the Escort for/to the Colours and the Massed Military Bands in attendance.

Singapore


The Singapore Armed Forces
Singapore Armed Forces
The Singapore Armed Forces is the military arm of the Total Defence of the Republic of Singapore; as well as the military component of the Ministry of Defence. The SAF comprises three branches: the Singapore Army, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Navy...

 performs Trooping the Colours annually in the SAF Day Parade. It is toned down as compared to the British version and is done after the awarding of the State Colours to the Best units of the Army, Navy and Air Force. If new Colours have been consecrated on SAF day, they are usually included in the Trooping, but if otherwise, are Trooped on a separate day. The Escorts to the Colour are usually formed by the Singapore Armed Forces Military Police Command.

See also

  • Burmese (horse)
    Burmese (horse)
    Burmese , a black RCMP Police Service Horse mare, was given to Queen Elizabeth II by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and ridden by the queen for Trooping the Colour for eighteen consecutive years from 1969 to 1986.-Royal Service:...

  • Winston (horse)
    Winston (horse)
    Winston , a chestnut gelding ridden by both King George VI in 1947 and Queen Elizabeth II in the Trooping the Colour ceremony from 1949 to 1956.-Biography:...

  • Changing of the Guard
    Guard Mounting
    Guard Mounting, or Changing the Guard , refers to a formal ceremony in which sentries providing ceremonial guard duties at important institutions are relieved by a new batch of sentries...

     at Buckingham Palace
    Buckingham Palace
    Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

    , Horse Guards Parade
    Horse Guards Parade
    Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground off Whitehall in central London, at grid reference . It is the site of the annual ceremonies of Trooping the Colour, which commemorates the monarch's official birthday, and Beating Retreat.-History:...

     and Windsor Castle
    Windsor Castle
    Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

  • Beating Retreat
    Beating Retreat
    Beating Retreat is a military ceremony dating back to 16th century England and was first used in order to recall nearby patrolling units to their castle.-History:...

  • Remembrance Day
    Remembrance Day
    Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth countries since the end of World War I to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. This day, or alternative dates, are also recognized as special days for war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth...

  • Thai Royal Guards parade
    Thai Royal Guards parade
    Every December 2 since 1953, in celebration of the birthday of the King of Thailand, the Royal Guards of the Royal Thai Armed Forces perform a military parade and pledge loyalty to the monarch...


External links