The Trooping of the Colour

Number 9 Company Irish Guards will Troop their Colour in the presence of His Majesty The King on Saturday 15th June 2024. Taking part will be over 1350 soldiers of the Household Division and King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, including over 300 musicians from the Massed Bands.

Trooping the Colour reviewed by His Majesty The King also includes 250 soldiers from the Foot Guards who will line the processional route along The Mall. The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have been first performed during the reign of King Charles II, who was Monarch from 1660 to 1685. In 1748 it was decided that this parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign. It became an annual event after George III became King in 1760. Guards taking part are drawn from the Regiments of the Sovereign’s Household Troops; it has become the practice for Regiments of Foot Guards to troop their Colour in turn. His Majesty’s actual birthday is 14th November. The Sovereign’s official birthday is marked by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour, which this year falls on Saturday 15th June 2024.

Credit Household Division

Overview

The Sovereign’s official birthday is celebrated with the ceremony of the King’s Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour. This impressive display of pageantry takes place on a Saturday in June, performed by His Majesty’s personal troops of the Household Division on Horse Guards Parade. Over 1,400 officers and soldiers form the parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and Corps of Drums march and play in unison. Some 113 words of command are given by the Officer in Command of the Parade, known as the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade and back again.

At the start of the ceremony, His Majesty The King is greeted by a Royal Salute on Horse Guards Parade and a 41 Gun Salute fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from The Green Park. His Majesty The King then conducts an inspection of his troops with his expert eye. After the Massed Bands of the Foot Guards have performed a musical ‘troop’, the escorted Colour of the Regiment is carried (or ‘Trooped’) through the ranks of Foot Guards. The Foot Guards then march past His Majesty in slow and quick time before The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Sovereign’s Escort of the Household Cavalry ride past at the walk and the trot. The King rides back to Buckingham Palace at the head of his Guards, before taking a furthersalute at the Palace from Centre Gate and the troops return to barracks. Finally, His Majesty joins other Members of the Royal Family on Buckingham Palace balcony to watch a fly-past performed by the Royal Air Force.

Each year, the full parade is actually conducted three times on consecutive weekends. The first occasion, known as The Major General’s Review, usually takes place two weeks before the King’s Birthday Parade; the second occasion, known as The Colonel’s Review, usually takes place a week before the King’s Birthday Parade.

History

The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have been first performed during the reign of King Charles II, who was Monarch from 1660 to 1685. In 1748 it was decided that this parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign. It became an annual event after George III became King in 1760. Guards taking part are drawn from the Regiments of the Sovereign’s Household Troops; it has become the practice for Regiments of Foot Guards to troop their Colour in turn.

His Majesty’s actual birthday is 14th November. The Sovereign’s official birthday is marked by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour, which this year falls on 17th June 2023, six weeks after The King’s Coronation. 2023 will mark the first Kings Birthday Parade for 72 years. The last King’s Birthday Parade (for King George VI) was conducted in 1951 and attended by The Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II); the last Sovereign’s Birthday Parade physically attended by a King of England (King George VI) was in 1950.

The Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years. Trooping the Colour The custom of Trooping the Colour dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th. Century when the Colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle and were therefore trooped in front of the soldiers every day to make sure that every man could recognise those of his own regiment.

Celebrating the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years, annually on the second Saturday of June with the Trooping the Colour ceremony, taking place on June 10 this year. This two-century-old impressive display of pageantry is a grandiose parade with the King’s troops, The Household Division, on Horse Guards and His Majesty the King  attending and taking the salute.

The streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, alongside Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by Members of the Royal Family from Buckingham Palace balcony.

Watch Trooping of the Colour

Members of the public can watch the parade from the stands on Horse Guards Parade by applying for tickets through the online ballot. Alternatively, a limited view can be obtained by standing on The Mall or on the edge of St James’s Park overlooking Horse Guards Parade from 9.00am, noting that the view from these positions may be obscured by troops on parade. These public vantage points are indicated with black dotted lines on the map.

The parade begins at Horse Guards Parade at 10.30am and will finish by 12.25pm. On the day of the King’s Birthday Parade (15th June), a fly-past by the Royal Air Force will take place at 1.00pm, which can be watched from The Mall. The King’s Birthday Parade is broadcast live on the BBC in the UK on 15th June 2024.

Tickets and Prices

For Trooping the Colour reviewed by His Majesty The King, seated tickets on Horse Guards Parade are allocated by ballot. This ballot will run from 4th March 2024 to 24th March 2024. Entrants can apply for between 1 and 4 seated tickets. Successful entrants will be informed via email and invited to purchase their tickets from 26th March 2024.

Please note, each wheelchair-accessible ticket includes a space for a wheelchair and a seat for one companion. You will not need to purchase a separate ticket alongside a wheelchair-accessible ticket to allow a companion to attend with the wheelchair user.

Ticket prices are as follows:

TROOPING THE COLOUR – THE KING’S BIRTHDAY PARADE

Seated: £30
Wheelchair (+1 companion): £30

There is no group purchase of tickets for multiple events. Tickets for each event must be purchased separately.

If you choose to print your tickets, please be careful with them when attending the event for which you have booked as we are not liable for lost or stolen tickets and cannot replace them.

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  • Friday09:00 - 20:00
  • Saturday10:00 - 13:00
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