- On the second Saturday in June, the annual Trooping the Colour will take place.
- The parade is "used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign," which is Queen Elizabeth II.
- Here's everything you need to know about the celebration.
On Saturday, June 8, all eyes will be on the British royal family. And no, don't panic-you didn't miss another wedding or baby announcement. It's time for the annual Trooping the Colour. The celebration, which honors Queen Elizabeth II's birthday, has a long and interesting history. Here's everything you need to know about the Trooping the Colour 2019 festivities.
What happens at Trooping the Colour?
At the event, the queen's personal troops, the Household Division, will showcase more than 1,400 officers marching on the Horse Guards Parade grounds, according to the Household Division website. They perform a salute to Her Royal Majesty as she "carries out an inspection of the troops." After the march from Buckingham Palace to Whitehall and back again, the queen joins other members of the royal family "on the palace balcony for a fly-past by the Royal Air Force."
What is Trooping the Colour?
Although the origins aren't completely clear, the very first Trooping the Colour is thought to have been held way back in 1748, during the reign of King Charles II, according to the The Household Division's website. "It was decided that this parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign," the website states, and it became a yearly occurrence when King George III took over the throne in 1760. (In case you're wondering, the Queen's real date of birth is April 21, 1926). The name of the celebration is due to the fact the flags that represent the different regiments in the British Army are all different hues, and were given the nickname "Colours." The reason the flags have always been so colorful is "to provide a rallying point on the battlefield."
Can you buy tickets for Trooping the Colour?
Unfortunately, tickets were available for purchase during the month of March and are now sold out. However, if you happen to be in London, you can try to get a standing view of all the action. Attendees are asked to "stand on The Mall or on the edge of St. James's Park." For those of us in the United States watching from our TV screens, the parade, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. BST, will be aired by the BBC.
What's the dress code for Trooping the Colour?
If you happen to be one of the lucky ones with admission to this year's event, be prepared to dress up. The dress code requests "morning dress," which means a suit or jacket with a tie and pants for men, and the "equivalent" for women. Denim, shorts, and sandals are not allowed, and hats aren't required but "recommended." The rules sound pretty strict as violation of the dress code "may result in refusal of entry."
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