Trooping the Colour for Queen Elizabeth III
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her official birthday on Saturday, yes that’s right she celebrates two birthdays. The actual and the official.
As a matter of fact all British Sovereigns have had two birthdays ever since the reign of King George the 2nd for over 260 years. The King wanted to mark his birthday with a parade for people to rejoice, but because he was born in November and weather being the way it is in the United Kingdom it would seldom permit an enjoyable day out. Therefore he instructed it be celebrated in a magnificent event known as The Trooping of the Colour every year on the second Saturday of June marking it as the official birthday of the British Sovereign.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II attended her first Trooping the Colour back in 1947 when she was on horseback behind her father King George the 6th. Her first Trooping of the Colour as a reigning monarch was in 1952 and Her Majesty rode in the Parade on her horse Winston. Fun fact, the name of the prime minister at the time was also Winston (Churchill) a close friend of King George the 6th and serving a second term in office, the following year would be knighted to take on the title of Sir.
The Queen’s actual birthday is on April 21st and this year she turned 94.
The Parade includes over 1,400 soldiers, 400 musicians and 200 horses that march from Buckingham Palace, the Sovereign’s official residence in London. Crowds line up the streets and fill the stands waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade. Most senior and able bodied members of the Royal Family are present on horseback and if not in carriages. Queen Elizabeth II rode a horse for 38 years having only missed the one in 1955 when it was cancelled due to a general strike. She switched to a carriage in 1986.
Once The Queen has arrived at Horse Guard's Parade she is greeted by a Royal salute and subsequently carries out an inspection of the troops wearing the ceremonial uniform of red tunics and bearskin hats. The procession returns to Buckingham Palace as do the Members of the Royal Family and gather on the balcony to watch the RAF fly.
Although not entirely cancelled, this year’s celebrations will be on a smaller scale and the broadcast live on the BBC.
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