Tourists flock to the UK to get a glimpse of the grand lives and ceremonial practices of the Royal Family. And it doesn’t get much grander than Trooping the Colour, which occurs on 13 June. Taking place on the Mall, within spitting distance of us here at Strand Palace Hotel, the parade is a wonderful example of royal pomp and pageantry. In case you’ve never witnessed the event before, we’ve put together a guide so you know what to expect.
What is Trooping the Colour?
For those not in the know, Trooping the Colour is essentially a big birthday event for the Queen with a military twist. Her actual birthday is on 21 April, but the event is held on a Saturday in June in order to take advantage of the sunnier summer season.
Trooping the Colour follows a set formula. The Queen is saluted by the members of the military or ‘troops’ who have gathered in their regalia for the ceremony. A battalion then displays its flag, also known as trooping its colour, while military musicians play bombastically. More divisions then perform for the Queen. In total, more than 1400 members of the military will be taking part.
The monarch’s carriage is then followed by her Guards as she returns to Buckingham Palace. She is saluted again at her home and the troops retire. The Queen then proceeds to a balcony to observe the Royal Air Force flying overhead. Many observers bring along a camera to try and snap a photo of these aircrafts as they zoom past.
Where can I see it?
While it is too late to get tickets for the stands, you can still go along to watch from the sidelines on Saturday. It starts at around 10am, but you’ll have to arrive earlier to get a good view. The official website of the British Monarchy advises getting there for 9am and taking a position on the Mall or by St. James’s Park near the Horse Guards. Stay until 1pm to see the Royal Air Force soaring above.
How can I get there?
Strand Palace Hotel is only a 10-minute stroll from the Mall. Alternatively, you can catch a bus from outside the hotel.
What can I do afterwards?
After Trooping the Colour ends, there is plenty to see and do nearby. You might want to walk to Covent Garden, which has lots of bars where you can raise a glass to the Queen or take a stroll through St. James’s Park.
Looking for a hotel near the Mall? Strand Palace Hotel is not only perfectly placed for those attending Trooping the Colour, it’s also near many other major royal attractions including Buckingham Palace and Whitehall’s Banqueting House.
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