Trooping the Colour, the annual ceremony to mark the Queen’s official birthday.
The four royal Colonels rode behind the Queen ~ Prince of Wales, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, Princess Royal, Colonel of the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals, Duke of Kent – Colonel of the Scots Guards, and Prince William, Colonel of the Irish Guards William who wore the regiment’s scarlet tunic, as he did for his marriage ceremony in April.
This year the event marked the 85th birthday of the Sovereign who has reigned over the country since 1952.mFor decades the Queen has been the focus of the ceremony staged every June in London’s historic Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall.
The Queen’s first duty was to inspect the long line of troops – wearing their famous red tunics and bearskins – from four of the five Foot Guards regiments of the Household Division taking part – the Welsh, Grenadier, Scots and Coldstream Guards. The Colour being paraded on Horse Guards this year was the flag of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards.
Trooping the Colour originated from traditional preparations for battle. Colours, or flags, were carried, or “trooped”, down the ranks so that it could be seen and recognised by the soldiers as they were used as rallying points in the confusion of fighting. In the 18th century, guards from the Royal palaces assembled daily on Horse Guards to “troop the colours”, and in 1748 it was announced that the parade would also mark the Sovereign’s official birthday. The celebrations ended with the traditional fly-past over the Palace. The aerial parade of more than 20 aircraft featured vintage machines and modern fighters.