The Trooping of the Colour is a parade to celebrate the official birthday of the Sovereign- held annually in June. Staged on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall the mounted parade is performed by the Household Division- a fully trained military division. Only one colour from the five regiments is ‘Trooped’ each year- this means that the official colours are carried along the ranks. The five regiments are Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish and Welsh.
The ceremony is the combination of two previous traditions- ‘Trooping the Colour’ and ‘Mounting of the Queens Guard.’ The earliest reference to the traditions dates back to the early eighteenth century, though it may go back much further. The premise was that the official colours of each regiment would be paraded in view of the guards and protectors of the Royal palaces so that they could be instantly recognised. The colours are represented in the form of coloured flags.
Since the ascension of George VI the event has been held annually- with only a rail strike in 1955 and the two World Wars forcing the Trooping of the Colours to be cancelled.
Thanks to the event being televised it is now one of the most recognisable Royal ceremonies and few events can so represent the traditions of the nation with such pride and honour as the Trooping of the Colour.