For those of you who are interested in seeing this year’s trooping of the colours live (or almost), here is a small extract, courtesy of the BBC. Enjoy!
The Queen’s official birthday is a date arbitrarily selected to host official birthday celebrations in all the Commonwealth countries. The dates vary with each country but generally take place between the end of May and the middle of June, to ensure good weather for all the outdoor ceremonies.
The monarch’s official birthday was celebrated for the first time in 1748. Nowadays, it is celebrated on the first, or second Saturday in June. The date was moved to Autumn by King Edward VII as he was born in November, then summer in the hope of getting good weather. This year, the ceremonies were held on the 13th of June in the UK.
On this day, the queen is joined by other members of the Royal Family to watch the parade which moves between Buckingham Palace, the Mall and the Horseguards’ Parade. This parade, known as Trooping of the colours is carried out by operational troups from the Household Division, Foot Guards and Household Cavalry.
This ceremony dates back to the early Eighteenth century when the flags (or colours) were carried out down the ranks of soldiers so they could be seen and recognised.
Nowadays, the Queen is greeted by a Royal salute and inspects the troops. The Regimental colour is then carried down the ranks. Then the soldiers then march past the Queen.
The Queen then rides in a carriage back to the Palace ahead of her Guards where she receives the salute and a fly-past by the Royal Air force from the palace balcony. Members of the Royal Family are invited to witness the Royal Air Force display.
On the Queen’s private birthday, on the other hand, public celebrations are limited gun salutes at midday: a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London and a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park.
Image from Carfax2