The Queen’s Birthday Parade

Saturday 11th June 2016

Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade via The Mall, London

Join over 1400 officers and men, 200 horses and over 400 musicians to officially celebrate the Queen’s birthday by Trooping The Colour. The parade takes place from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade along The Mall and then returns after the main ceremony. This means that you have the chance to see the parade go past, then watch the ceremony at Horse Guards Parade, watch the parade head back towards Buckingham Palace and finally witness the fly past as the Royal Family watch from the balcony of the Palace.

  • Starts  10:00
  • Fly Past 13:00

There are 2 rehearsals, known as the Major General’s Review and Colonels Review, held on May 28th and 4th June, just in case you can’t make the official parade.

This is one of the best opportunities to see almost the entire royal family as they take part in the parade and also watch the flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

The Queen during trooping the colour parade

Although it is thought to date back to the 1600s, in 1748 it was decided that the ceremony would mark the official birthday of the Monarch.

Military colours were used to distinguish different regiments so the soldiers knew where they should be forming up etc. The colours were displayed in front of soldiers in formation and this was known as trooping the colour.

Red Arrows fly over Buckingham Palace

Spectators can consider this event to have three parts

  • Parade from Buckingham palace to Horse Guards Parade
  • Ceremony at Horse Guards Parade
  • Parade from Horse Guards Parade to Buckingham palace with Flypast

I prefer to watch from the Buckingham Palace end of The Mall for the first and third parts as listed above. It can be hard to get anywhere near the actual ceremony at Horse Guards so I recommend getting the best place possible down towards the  Roundabout in front of Buckingham Palace. The parade splits around either side of the roundabout but you should get a great view as the royals come past on horseback and in carriages. Once the parade has returned the royal family will come out onto the balcony and watch the flypast so make sure you have a good view.

I recommend getting to the Green Park Tube Station and walk through the park towards the Victoria Monument and grab a spot early!

the Dutchess of Cambridge kate middleton in a carriage

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