Saturday, June 17, beginning 10 AM, London time

Since 1748, Trooping the Colour has been the official commemoration of the sovereign’s birthday. Originally it was a parade of sorts when regiment colours were trooped in front of soldiers so they could recognize their unit in battle. In 1748, King George II combined his birthday with the event. The King born in November was concerned that his subjects would risk catching a cold to wish him a happy birthday. So he moved his official birthday celebration to the summer Trooping the Colour parade. Since her coronation, the Queen, whose actual birthday is April 21, has only once missed the occasion cancelled in 1955 due to a national rail strike.

Steeped in tradition the ceremony includes a military parade and a chance for the Queen to inspect her personal troops, the Household Division on Horse Guards parade in London. More than 1,400 officers participate including 200 horses and more than 400 musicians. In the past royal family members have participated on horseback. The Queen prefers now to ride in a carriage.

The royals travel via horse-drawn carriage from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again. The public is invited to watch the parade en route. Tickets are available for the seated stands around the Horse Guards and the formal ceremony.

The event is broadcast live on the BBC in UK. Events begin at 10am with a fly-past by the Royal Air Force at 1pm (London time).

Wishing the Queen and all our #WARHorse friends in the UK wonderful weather and a safe, festive day!

To apply for 2018 tickets, click here.

The Queen’s first Trooping the Colours parade as monarch, 1952

The Queen and her first pony, Peggy

The Queen’s lifetime passion for horses is well known. Our coverage of her spring ride through the grounds at Windsor Castle has been the most popular WARHorse post this year!

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