The Sovereign's birthday is officially celebrated by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour. This impressive display of pageantry takes place on a Saturday in June by her personal troops, the Household Division, on Horse Guards Parade, with Her Majesty the Queen herself attending and taking the salute. Over 1400 officers and men are on parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and corps of drums march and play as one. Some 113 words of command are given by the Officer in Command of the Parade. The parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.
During the ceremony, The Queen is greeted by a Royal salute and carries out an inspection of the troops.After the massed bands have performed a musical 'troop', the escorted Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks.The Foot Guards and the Household Cavalry then march past Her Majesty, and The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, rank past.The Queen rides in a carriage back to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards, before taking the salute at the Palace from a dais. The troops then return to barracks.Her Majesty then joins other members of the Royal Family on the palace balcony for a fly-past by the Royal Air Force.
The first rehearsal known as The Major General's Review usually takes place two weeks before the actual Birthday Parade.
The second rehearsal known as The Colonelâ€™s Review usually takes place a week before the actual Birthday Parade.
How to watch:
Members of the public wishing to watch are advised to stand on The Mall or on the edge of St James's Park overlooking Horse Guards (their view may be somewhat obscured by troops in this position) from 9.00am.Â The best public vantage points are indicated on the map with black dotted lines.
Events begin at approximately 10.00am, with the fly-past at 1.00pm.
The parade is also broadcast live on the BBC in the UK.
Tickets for seated stands around Horse Guards Parade are allocated by ballot. Up to a maximum of 3 tickets can be applied for Trooping the Colour. The Reviews have no restriction on the number of tickets applied for but we reserve the right to reduce numbers if demand exceeds supply. Â Ticket prices areÂ as followsÂ for successful applicants: ÂŁ30.00 each for Trooping the Colour; ÂŁ10.00 each for The Colonel's Review and tickets are free of charge for The Major General's Review. Â Applications should be madeÂ inÂ JanuaryÂ orÂ February only (any application other then the period stated will not be included in the ballot). Please write inÂ to:
HQ Household Division
In your letter, please state which event and the number of tickets (please note maximum number you can apply for above) you are applying to be in the ballot for. Please enclose a self-address stamped envelopeÂ (or International Reply Coupon) in your application and do not send any money until requested to do so.
Arriving by car/taxi.Â
For the Queenâ€™s Birthday Parade only, access to Whitehall will be via Parliament Square.Â On arrival at the junction Parliament Square/ Parliament Street, please have your QBP tickets ready for checking by the police/Household Division soldiers.Â Vehicles will be allowed to drop off at Horse Guards entrance but not park.Â All vehicles will be directed to leave Whitehall via Horse Guards Avenue.
The Queen's Birthday Parade:
Morning Dress, Lounge Dress, Lounge Suit or Jacket and Trousers, equivalent for the ladies (no denim). Military personnel may wear Ceremonial Day or other Service equivalent.
Lounge Suit or Jacket and Trousers, equivalent for the ladies (no denim).
Major General's Review:
Smart Casual (no denim).
NON COMPLIANCE WITH THE DRESS CODE MAY RESULT IN REFUSAL OF ENTRY.
Hats are optional but recommended in the case of hot weather.Â
Police will be conducting searches of your personal belongings. As a condition of entry any items such as knives, pen knives, Leatherman and similar articles are prohibited and may be confiscated.