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Trooping the Colour Ceremony

1121 of 1170 nominations


Trooping the Colour Ceremony

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Trooping the Colour Ceremony

Every year, on the second or third Saturday in June, tourists flock to Horseguards’ Parade in London to see the greatest pageant of British royalty – the Trooping of the Colour. This is the celebration of the queen’s “official birthday”, traditionally held at midsummer to improve the chances of fine weather.

The ‘trooping’ is the carrying of a colour, or regimental flag, along the massed ranks of a battalion of one of the Queen’s Foot Guard regiments, who parade in scarlet tunics and tall bearskin hats. There are five regiments (Grenadier, Coldstream, Welsh, Scots and Irish) who take it in turns to troop their colour year by year. It is a great honour to be chosen to carry the flag, and six weeks are spent rehearsing so that nothing can go wrong.

Originally, a colour was a rallying point in battle, and it was ‘trooped’ so that it could be recognised by every soldier. The ceremony in London dates from the mid eighteenth century, while the custom for the sovereign to take a salute from the soldiers was started by Edward VII.

Queen Elizabeth II has attended the ceremony for every year of her reign except 1955, when the trooping was cancelled because of a national rail strike.

Image: Topfoto.co.uk


Your comments

Ideally illustrates the pomp and circumstance of English military history and culture

Peter Karry

Armed forces tradition visited by tourists and residents alike
Russell Hougham

This is a celebration of history and tradition by regular troops and remains quintessentially British; no one else can match it for spectacle and no one else is better at it than us!
Terry Underwood

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I nominate the English weather.