Trooping the Colour is an annual event that takes place on Horse Guards Parade in London’s St James’s Park in June, marking The Queen’s official birthday.
In 2013 Trooping the Colour (which is also known as The Queen’s Birthday Parade) will be held on 15 June.
The ceremony of Trooping the Colour is full of military pomp and pageantry as The Queen carries out an inspection of the troops from the Household Division.
The Queen then leads the troops down the Mall to Buckingham Palace, one of London’s most famous landmarks.
The Queen salutes and guns are fired in Green Park and at the Tower of London. Finally she joins other members of the Royal Family on the balcony to watch the RAF flypast.
After existing in various forms from around 1700, the Trooping the Colour ceremony was restored in 1820 on the accession of King George IV.
The main aspects of the parade have changed very little since then. Trooping the Colour has been held each year in London, apart from during the world wars and a national rail strike in 1955.
Although the official birthday is celebrated in June, Queen Elizabeth II’s actual birthday is in April. Monarchs are traditionally given a second birthday if they were born in winter, in case the weather is unsuitable for an outdoor event.