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The Trooping of the Colour 2016 on Horse Guards Parade – 11th June 2016

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The Trooping of the Colour is a colourful and spectacular celebration of the Sovereign’s official birthday. Its origins lie in a military tradition of showing the ‘Colours’ to your regiment, the reason was to make your troops familiar with your regiments flags and insignia. The principal role of a regiment’s Colours was to provide a rallying point on the battlefield. Displaying the ‘Colours’ at various ceremonies was called ‘trooping’, therefore the tradition of Trooping of the Colour began with a practical and important purpose.

The Guards are amongst the oldest regiments of the British Army and have served as the personal bodyguards of the Sovereign since the monarchy was restored after the English Civil War in 1660. The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is believed to have been performed first during the reign of King Charles II . In 1748, it was decided that this parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign and it became an annual event after George III became King in 1760.

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The ceremony of Trooping the Colour has developed into an impressive display of pageantry that takes place on a Saturday in June by her personal troops, the Household Division, on Horse Guards Parade, with Her Majesty the Queen herself attending and taking the salute. Over 1400 officers and men will be on parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and corps of drums march. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.

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During the ceremony, The Queen is greeted by a Royal salute and carries out an inspection of the troops. After the massed bands have performed a musical ‘troop’, the escorted Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks. The Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry then march past Her Majesty, and The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, rank past. The Queen rides in a carriage back to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards, before taking the salute at the Palace. The troops then return to barracks. Her Majesty then joins other members of the Royal Family on the palace balcony for a fly-past by the Royal Air Force.

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There are two rehearsals that provide some entertainment for visitors, The first rehearsal known as The Major General’s Review usually takes place two weeks before the actual Birthday Parade. The second rehearsal known as The Colonel’s Review usually takes place a week before the actual Birthday Parade.

 The actual ceremony itself attracts large crowds which stand on the Mall or St James Park overlooking Horse Guards Parade, the Events begin at approximately 10.00am, with the fly-past at 1.00pm.

Tickets for seated stands around Horse Guards Parade are allocated by ballot. Up to a maximum of 3 tickets can be applied for Trooping the Colour.  Ticket prices are as follows for successful applicants: £30.00 each for Trooping the Colour; £10.00 each for The Colonel’s Review and tickets are free of charge for The Major General’s Review.  Applications should be made in January or February only.

If you are successful with tickets for the seated stands you are expected to dress in smart casual attire. No denim allowed. Hats are optional but recommended in the case of hot weather.

The Trooping of the Colour is especially popular with visitors to London with its colourful pageantry and Royal connections and large crowds begin to develop from around 9.00am.

For more information on The Trooping of the Colour, visit the website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014 , we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
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A Short Guide to Buckingham Palace

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Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of Britain’s sovereigns since 1837, in more recent times it has served as the administrative headquarters of the Monarch. To facilitate the small army of 450 staff, the Palace has 775 rooms.These include 19 State rooms, 52 Royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms. Although the Palace is still used for large-scale Royal ceremonies, State Visits and Investitures, it also welcomes around 50,000 people a year who attend banquets, lunches, dinners, receptions and Royal Garden Parties.

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The land on which the Palace stands has been owned by Royalty since William the Conqueror however it was not until George III bought the house on the site called Buckingham House and eventually transformed it into a Royal Palace that it became a Royal residence. Using the well-known architect John Nash, George III expanded the Palace and began to furnish the interior with furniture and works of art from the nearby Carlton House.

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Despite George’s influence it was Queen Victoria who became the first sovereign to take up residence in July 1837, and in June 1838 she was the first British sovereign to leave from Buckingham Palace for a Coronation.

When Queen Victoria became a widow in 1861, Buckingham Palace was seldom used for Royal Ceremonies and was rarely visited by Victoria who prefered to stay at Windsor Castle and Balmoral.

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Victoria Memorial

When Queen Victoria died in 1901, it was decided to repair the facade and make a series of changes to the Palace. These included a new Memorial to Victoria, and developing the Mall as a ceremonial approach route to the palace.

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On the Mall

Although suffering some damage in the Second World War, it was  at the end of the War that the Palace became the focus of celebrations on VE Day.

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These scenes have been replicated in recent times for Royal Weddings and Jubilee Celebrations when the Royal Family usually make an appearance on the Palace balcony.

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After the fire at Windsor Castle in 1992, The Buckingham Palace State Rooms were open to visits by the public with money raised helping to pay for the repair and renovation at Windsor.

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The Mall from Admiralty Arch

Video Review available here 

To find out more about visiting Buckingham Palace visit their website here

London Visitors is the official blog for the Visiting London Guide .com website. The website was developed to bring practical advice and the latest up to date news and reviews of events in London.
Since our launch in 2014, we have attracted thousands of readers each month, the site is constantly updated.
We have sections on Museums and Art Galleries, Transport, Food and Drink, Places to Stay, Security, Music, Sport, Books and many more.
There are also hundreds of links to interesting articles on our blog.
To find out more visit the website here