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King Charles' Trooping the Colour 2023


King Charles' Trooping the Colour 2023

What is Trooping the Colour?

Trooping the Colour is an annual military event held at Horse Guards Parade in London which usually takes place in June. The event has marked the official birthday of the British monarch for over 260 years.

The ceremony dates back to the reign of King Charles II, who ruled from 1660 to 1685. It is believed that the first performance of the ceremony was during his reign. It was determined in 1748 that the parade would serve as a celebration of the British monarch's official birthday, and following the ascension of King George III to the throne in 1760, it became an annual tradition.

Trooping the Colour 2023 is even more special as it is the first time that His Majesty King Charles III will attend the event as Sovereign after his coronation on 6 May 2023.

In total, there are three events :

  1. The Major General's Review;
  2. The Colonel's Review;
  3. The King's Birthday Parade.

 

1. What is the Major General's Review?

The Major General Commanding the Household Division Christopher John Ghika CBE, reviews the troops. Over 1,200 soldiers of the Household Division and The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery participate, including 400 musicians from the Massed Bands.

It takes place on the 2nd Saturday before King Charles III's birthday, which is Saturday 3 June 2023. The review starts at 10am at Horse Guards Parade and lasts approximately 2 hours.

2. What is the Colonel's Review?

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who is also the Colonel of the Welsh Guards, reviews the troops. Over 1,400 soldiers from the Household Division and The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, and 400 musicians from the Massed Bands parade.

In addition, the Colonel’s Review also features 250 soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and the 1st Battalion London Guards (the Foot Guards' Reserve Unit).

The event takes place on the Saturday before the Trooping of the Colour, Saturday 10 June 2023. The review starts at 10.30am at Horse Guards and lasts for approximately 2 hours.

3. What are the highlights of the King’s Birthday Parade?

This year's parade marks the first King's Birthday Parade in 72 years. The last King's Birthday Parade was held for King George VI in 1951, which was attended by Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II).

For 2023, the King's Birthday is celebrated on Saturday 17 June.

At 11.00am, the King is expected to arrive by carriage at the Horse Guards Parade. The Royal Salute is given to the sound of "God Save the King" followed by a review of the troops by His Majesty.

The Trooping the Colour ceremony continues with the Gun Salute. At 12.52pm, 41 cannon shots are fired in Green Park and at 1pm, 62 at the Tower of London.

At 1pm, the members of the Royal Family are gathered on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch the Royal Air Force fly past.

The parade, along with His Majesty the King's salute, is considered the most important event of the ceremonial calendar.

The 1st Battalion Welsh Guards troops their Colour in the presence of His Majesty The King, joined by over 1,350 soldiers from the Household Division and King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, as well as over 350 musicians from the Massed Bands.

This year, the event also includes soldiers from other regiments such as the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and the 1st Battalion London Guards (the Foot Guards’ Reserve Unit).

The streets around the parade are closed several hours before the event starts. The festivities start at 10:00 and end at 13:00. It is strongly advised to arrive at 09:00 if you are in the stands, and earlier for others.

What is the dress code?

The public must be smartly dressed or they will be refused access to the stands. Jeans are not allowed and hats are recommended, although optional.

Make sure you wear comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather. Temperatures can be variable in June in London, so pack extra layers just in case.

 

If you want to continue your royal immersion in London, check out the Tootwalk feature on the Tootbus app. Explore Kensington Gardens or go on a royal shopping tour in St James' with our guided walking tours!