Trooping the lour | House & Garden

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This Saturday the celebration of the official birthday of the Queen, known as Trooping the Colour, takes place in London. Held annually on the second Saturday of June, the event brings together over 1400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians at the Horse Guards Parade near St James Park.

Trooping the Colour has its origins in battlefield customs of displaying regimental colours as rallying points for soldiers. The parade in its current form has been staged to celebrate the British monarch's official birthday for 260 years.

At the beginning of the event, the Queen travels down the Mall from Buckingham Palace escorted by the Household Cavalry. The Queen now travels in a carriage, as do other members of the royal family, although Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince William usually accompany the parade on horseback, as the Queen herself used to do until 1987. Upon arrival at the Horse Guards Parade, she receives a royal salute and then carries out an inspection of the troops.

Each year, one regiment performs the actual 'trooping of the colour', carrying its colours through the ranks of guards. This is followed by a march=past, as the Household regiments parade past the queen and salute her.

The royal family then return to Buckingham Palace for another march-past outside the gates and a 41-gun salute by the King's Troop in Green Park. The Queen then repair to the palace balcony with her family for a Royal Air Force flypast - one of the few regular occasions where the entire family can be seen in one place. This year, Prince Louis, the youngest child of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, is expected to make his first appearance on the palace balcony.

You can watch Trooping the Colour on BBC One on Saturday June 9 from 10.30am.