Fancy going to the Queen’s birthday party?
Trooping the Colour Parade at Horse Guards Parade. Image courtesy of Photopin CC
The Queen has two birthday celebrations. The first marks her actual date of birth on 21 April and Her Majesty celebrates this privately. The second, which this year is on 9 June, is her official birthday and is celebrated with a grand parade to which the public can get tickets to attend.
The main spectacle of the official birthday is called Trooping the Colour which is an impressive display involving 1,000 officers and men, together with two hundred horses and over two hundred musicians. The chosen regiment parade past the Queen holding their flag. The Queen acknowledges them by bowing her head.
After the parade the Queen and the Royal Family watch a spectacular display by the Royal Air Force from the Balcony of Buckingham. The event is a treat for fans of the Royal Family and those that want to see a traditional British custom that goes back to the 17th Century.
Red Arrow display during Trooping the Colour. Image courtesy of Photopin CC
The parade starts from Buckingham Palace along to Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again and until 1987 the Queen inspected the regiment riding side-saddle and wearing the uniform of the regiment whose colour was being trooped but in recent years she has done this by carriage.
If you would like to attend the Queen’s official birthday celebration you can apply through the online ballot for up to four tickets for seats around the Horse Guards Parade.
The deadline for the ballot is 1st March and those lucky enough to be selected will be notified in March. If you are lucky enough to be offered tickets, which cost £35 each, payment will be taken from the credit or debit card provided.
Alternatively standing tickets to The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be available from 2nd March 2018, after the ballot for seated tickets closes.
If you don’t hear back and still want to go to watch the parade you should head to the Mall or the edge of St James’s Park overlooking Horse Guards. The Parade starts at 11am so aim to get there for 9am if you want to bag a good position.
Above image: The Queen riding-side saddle during Trooping the Colour. Image provided by TASCHEN.