Trooping the Colour: The Queen’s Birthday Parade

Things to do, Quirky events Free
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
 (© Corporal Andy Reddy RLC)
© Corporal Andy Reddy RLC
 (© Corporal Andy Reddy RLC)
© Corporal Andy Reddy RLC
Trooping the Colour

Time Out says

Although Trooping the Colour is also known as the Queen's Birthday Parade, this prime piece of pageantry doesn't take place on Her Maj’s actual birthday (that's on April 21) but on her official birthday (a Saturday in June being more likely to provide sunshine for the proceedings).

Carried out on Horse Guards by fully operational troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry), Trooping the Colour is a military tradition that dates back to the early eighteenth century. Originally it was all about helping soldiers to recognise their own standard in the chaos of battle. Now it's an opportunity for some seriously impressive marching manoeuvres and an fantastic opportunity for royalty spotting (other members of the royal family attend, as well as the sovereign). For many years the Queen strutted her stuff on horseback but these days she travels by carriage. After the parade, the royals head back to Buckingham Palace for balcony photo shoots and there’s usually a fly-past at 1pm to wind things up.

You can watch along the Mall or from the edge of St James’s Park for free but you'll need to arrive well before events begin at 10am to be far enough forward to get a good view. It will come as no surprise that the limited grandstand seating is highly sought after and needs to be applied for at the beginning of the year.

You can also watch the Colonel's Review (Saturday June 2 2018). The scale and splendour of the event is the same but our Liz isn't involved.



Users say (2)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3 / 5

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One of the most amazing experiences of my life! Grabbing a ticket in the ballot was complete luck!

One has to dress up and wear a hat as a sign of respect to the Queen!

Seating tickets cost £35 and worth every penny, to experience and celebrate the queens birthday and see her and the royal family up close and personal.

Took my folks and seven year old nephew who can’t stop talking about it!

Top tip

Stick around the area till one pm when the red arrows fly over!


I attended Trooping the Colour last year and it truly was a great event that left me with a sense of patriotic pride and trust me I am not the type to usually go in for this kind of pomp and ceremony. Everyone that gets a ticket to the event must dress in attire fit for a weekend wedding and gets the chance to see the Queen and her family in person as they ride around in their finery before you with the cavalry and varying guards.

The only down side to this event is that when you're not watching it on TV its actually a little hard to know what's going on. Usually the commentary explains what is taking place and when you cant hear that commentary you are left listening to everyone in the seated crowd around you asking each other 'what's happening now then?'

I really enjoyed this though and the tickets aren't pricey. Definitely worth doing as a once in a lifetime event.

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