Saturday, 28 June 2014

Trooping the Colours

An annual event held on a Saturday of June, Trooping the Colours is held to officially celebrate the Sovereign’s birthday. Although Queen Elizabeth II is born on the 21st of April, the Sovereign’s birthday is publicly celebrated in June. Held by the Household Division, Trooping the Colours is a tradition which dates back to the 18th century where the colours of the battalion were trooped down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by soldiers.

Being my last English summer, there is nothing better than to catch a glimpse of the much celebrated royals during the parade. Growing up in a Commonwealth country, the English royals were once part of our system and their presence today is still much a hype amongst Malaysians. With a large crowd expected and most roads around the Buckingham Palace and Whitehall closed, I made my way early to the Buckingham Palace at 7am.

For the first time in my life, I saw traffic lights being removed from the ground!
Getting there early secured me a relatively good spot and through the long wait, it was impressive to see how traffic lights were removed to make way for the march past and police dogs securing the location from any threat. By 10am, the crowd poured in with lines of people along The Mall and around Buckingham Palace. At quarter past 10, the royals made their way into the Palace before getting on their carriage for the ride down to the Horse Guard Parade.

From 10am, the impressive Foot Guards and Household Cavalry started their march in batches towards the Horse Guard Parade. The horse carriages carrying the royals followed behind the Household Cavalry on to The Mall.

The band marching in

Foot Guards marching past Buckingham Palace
The Household Cavalry
A glimpse of Kate Middleton with Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry
Kate Middleton as elegant as ever
Her Majesty in her carriage going into The Mall
A closer look into the Her Majesty

While the Sovereign and royals are at Horse Guard Parade for Trooping the Colours ceremony, the ordinary changing of guards took place and it was a long hour before the royals return to the Buckingham Palace. At 1pm, the Queen and royals appear on the balcony to watch the fly-past by the Royal Air Force.

Fly-Past with the colours of Union Jack
Trooping the Colours is an impressive event show casting the Foot Guards and Household Cavalry in a parade with much gusto. The British military parade is one of the most interesting in the world. Even the ordinary change of guards in Buckingham Palace attracts thousands of tourists. With the attendance of Her Majesty and the royal family, it was an added bonus to catch a glimpse of the royals while watching the spectacular march past.

For more images:

What can you see:
x - a view of the Household Cavalry and the royal family passing by, a great view of the balcony of Buckingham Palace
x - a view of the Household Calvary and the Foot Guards coming in from Spur Road and the royal family passing by, unfortunately no view of the balcony
x - a view of the Household Cavalry and Foot Guards and the royal family passing by, no view of the balcony as well
x - a view of the Foot Guards passing through and Household Cavalry, no glimpse of the royal family, a great view of the balcony

How the march past takes place:

The march past of the Foot Guards begin from the barracks near St. James Park into Spur Road across Buckingham Palace into the Mall. The Household Cavalry enters from Constitution Hill into The Mall. The carriages carrying Her Majesty and the royal family exits Buckingham Palace from the left gate into Constitution Hill down to The Mall.
Returning to Buckingham Palace from The Mall, the carriages enters Constitution Hill into the left gate of the palace. After returning to the palace, the royals appear on the balcony shortly and return back into the palace and reappearing again for the fly-past.

*The route of the guards march past may change from year to year. However, from the many times I've watched the Change of Guards, the routine is the same throughout the years. So, it may apply to Trooping the Colours as well

The seats for Trooping of Colours ceremony is limited and are allocated by ballot. The applications for the tickets are open in January and February each year. Simply write in to:

Brigade Major
HQ Household Division
Horse Guards

Find out more details on

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