What Is Trooping The Colour? All You Need To Know

Trooping The Colour

What is Trooping the Colour? Celebrating Royalty and Tradition. Few occasions in British tradition have the grandeur and historical significance of Trooping the Colour. It is a traditional event profoundly established in the fabric of the nation, held yearly to commemorate the reigning monarch’s official birthday. With almost 260 years of history, this famous event has become a symbol of regal splendour, military power, and national togetherness.

Trooping the Colour exemplifies the ongoing link between the British monarchy and its people. It is an occasion that embodies the essence of royalty, military heritage, and national pride. Wondering what does ‘Trooping the Colour’ mean? Join an enthralling trip through time to discover the fascinating history and ceremonial splendour of Trooping the Colour. 

What Is Trooping The Colour?

Tracing Its Origins and Evolution

Trooping the Colour dates back to the 18th century when it had an important military role. Regiments required their soldiers to be familiar with their respective colours or flags to discern friends from foes on the battlefield at the time. Thus was developed the ceremony of “trooping” the regimental colours. 

In 1805, King George III felt ill and was unable to attend the event, marking the first time a reigning monarch had been absent. Except for times of national mourning or momentous events like World Wars, the custom has been maintained uninterrupted since then.

Trooping the Colour 2023 has adopted new aspects while keeping its age-old customs in recent years. The Royal Air Force flypast was inaugurated in 1913, bringing an exciting aerial spectacle to the celebrations. With the rising popularity of TV broadcasts, the event has also become more accessible to the general public, allowing millions of people worldwide to experience the spectacle.

what is trooping the colour

Venue And Date

Horse Guards Parade & The Time-Honoured Tradition

What is Trooping the Colour & where is it held? The festival is traditionally held on Horse Guards Parade in the centre of London. Its famous wide area serves as a perfect location for the large military parade and spectator observation stands.

The event is usually held on the second Saturday in June. This year it’s happening on 17th June 2023, starting at 10 AM(UK time)

Parade & Military Display

A Spectacle Of Precision and Tradition

The streets of London come alive with stunning pomp and military splendour during the Trooping the Colour march. The parade features the participation of many regiments, including the prestigious Household Division. These regiments, which include the legendary Household Cavalry and the renowned Foot Guards, bring with them a rich history and ceremonial heritage that lends a feeling of regal grandeur to the occasion.

One cannot help but be captivated by the elaborate uniforms worn by the troops.  These uniforms, adorned with ornate decorations, emblems, and plumes, are a testimony to the regiments’ legacy and traditions. The vivid colours, polished brass buttons, and impeccable tailoring create a visual extravaganza that reflects the rigorous attention to detail that goes into every part of the procession.

  1. Composition Of The Parade:
  • The parade consists of various regiments from the British Army, including the Foot Guards and the Household Division.
  • The Household Division comprises regiments such as the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards, and Welsh Guards, all known for their distinguished history and ceremonial role.
  1. Elaborate Uniforms And Their Significance:
  • The troops participating in Trooping the Colour don iconic uniforms, each with its historical significance.
  • The Foot Guards don their traditional red tunics, bearskin caps, and white-plumed helmets, representing the regal splendour and discipline of the British military.
  • The uniforms bear distinctive regimental insignia, badges, and buttons, symbolising the specific regiments’ history and heritage.
  1. Involvement Of The Queen Or Other Members Of The Royal Family:
  • Trooping the Colour is graced by the presence of the reigning monarch, usually the Queen. However, there have been instances where other members of the royal family have represented Her Majesty.
  • Their presence serves as a symbol of the royal family’s connection to the armed forces and their support for the troops.
  1. Significance Of The Trooping The Colour Ceremony:
  • The ceremony plays a vital role in familiarising troops with their regimental colours, fostering a sense of pride, loyalty, and identity within the regiments.
  • It symbolises the unity between the monarchy and the military, highlighting the important role the armed forces play in protecting the nation and serving the Crown.

Public Participation & Festivities

If you’ve asked the question – What is Trooping the Colour, you might also be interested in understanding how the general public participates in this occasion. Let’s paint you a picture of what it’s like to be part of the festivities:

  1. The Parade Route Buzz: As the day approaches, locals and tourists alike flock to the streets of London, lining up along the parade route. You’ll see a mix of excited faces, all eagerly awaiting the grand spectacle about to unfold. It’s like a big street party, with people from all walks of life coming together to share in the excitement.
  2. Musical Delights: As you wait for the parade to begin, the sound of military bands fills the air. The talented musicians play stirring tunes and classic melodies, adding an enchanting soundtrack to the festivities. It’s impossible to resist tapping your foot or swaying along to the music.
  3. Balcony Appearance: Following the Trooping the Colour ceremony, members of the royal family, including the Queen, often make a balcony appearance at Buckingham Palace. This iconic moment allows the public to catch a glimpse of the royal family and share in the celebratory spirit.
  4. Charity and Fundraising: Trooping the Colour serves as an opportunity for charitable causes and fundraising efforts. Various organisations may hold events or collections during the celebrations, further highlighting the philanthropic aspect of the ceremony.

How To Celebrate Trooping The Colour?

We hope we’ve answered your question on ‘What is Trooping the Colour’ and its specifics. Now, you might be wondering how you can witness the event yourself and what is there to do. Well, here’s how you can go about it –

  1. Secure a Prime Viewing Spot: Popular areas include The Mall, St. James’s Park, and Horse Guards Parade. Bring a foldable chair or a picnic blanket so you can comfortably enjoy the parade.
  1. Explore Alternative Viewing Options: If you can’t secure a spot along the parade route, consider watching the live broadcast of the ceremony on television. Many networks cover the event, allowing you to witness the spectacle from the comfort of your own accommodation.
  1. Take Advantage of Pre and Post-Event Activities: Alongside the main parade, there are other activities and attractions to enjoy. Visit Buckingham Palace and witness the Changing the Guard ceremony, which occurs before Trooping the Colour. After the event, explore the city, visit iconic landmarks, and indulge in traditional British cuisine to complete your experience.

what is trooping the colour


Now that you know what is Trooping the Colour, why not dive deeper into the history, traditions, and significance surrounding this iconic event? It’s a fascinating journey that will deepen your understanding of British culture and heritage.

Don’t miss out on the chance to be part of Trooping the Colour or to learn more about this cherished British tradition. Experience the grandeur, embrace the spirit, and create lasting memories of an event that encapsulates the essence of British royal traditions.


1. What time does Trooping the Colour start on BBC?

Ans: Events begin at approximately 10.00 am, with the fly-past at 1.00 pm. The parade is also broadcast live on the BBC in the UK.  

2. Is Trooping the Colour 2023 free?

Ans: Tickets for seats on Horse Guards Parade are available in advance (allocated by ballot), or you can watch the procession for free by joining the crowds lining The Mall.

3. How much does Trooping the Colour cost?

Ans: Tickets for seated stands around Horse Guards Parade for Trooping the Colour are allocated by ballot. Up to a maximum of 4 tickets can be applied.   

Ticket prices are as follows: £30.00 each for Trooping the Colour Reviewed by His Majesty The King; £15.00 each for Trooping the Colour Reviewed by The Colonel of the Regiment, and £10.00 each for Trooping the Colour Reviewed by The Major General.

4. What time is the balcony wave?

Ans: As part of the King’s Coronation celebrations, Charles and Camilla will be joined by members of the royal family on the balcony, where they will watch the RAF flypast. It is estimated that they will make their appearance at around 2.15 pm. 

5. Who are the soldiers in Trooping the Colour?

Ans: Every year, a battalion of Foot Guards parades in front of the King’s Colour. Only one Colour can be trooped at a time, and the five Foot Guards regiments – Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish, and Welsh Guards – take turns doing it each year.

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Trooping The Colour

What Is Trooping The Colour? All You Need To Know

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