Trooping The Colour 2020
Normally on the second Saturday of June, we see over 1400 parading soldiers, almost 300 horses and 400 musicians take part in an event to mark The Queen’s official birthday.
The Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 250 years. But this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Trooping of the Colour will be a private, scaled-back version of the celebration and will be held at Windsor Castle.
The parade, Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewelyn-Usher, will have a small group of Welsh Guards march and troop their colour, accompanied by a diminished group of the massed Bands of the Household Division.
Coverage of this year’s Trooping of the Colour will be shown on 13th June 2020 on BBC One from 10:30am BST.
In the meantime, here are a few facts you may not have known about the Trooping of the Colour…
- Trooping the Colour has been a tradition of British infantry regiments since the 17th century, although the roots go back much earlier.
- Traditionally on battlefields, a regiments colours were used as rallying points, ensigns would slowly march with the colours and flags to make sure that every soldier could recognise others of his own regiment.
- Since 1748 the Trooping of the Colour has also marked the official birthday of the British sovereign.
- In 1981, 17-year-old Marcus Serjeant fired six blank cartridges directly at the Queen at the start of the Trooping the Colour ceremony. The shots startled the Queen’s horse, but she was able to bring it back under control within a few seconds. The teen was jailed for 5 years.
- Some 113 words of command are given by the Officer in Command of the Parade.
- It’s not uncommon for the guardsmen to faint during the parade, last year eight guardsmen fainted during a rehearsal for the event.
- The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, first attended in 1947 and has never missed Trooping the Colour since becoming Queen, apart from in 1955 when the whole event was cancelled due to a national rail strike.
- Since 1987, The Queen has attended in a carriage rather than riding, which she did before that on 36 occasions, riding side-saddle and wearing the uniform of the regiment whose Colour was being trooped.
View coverage from previous years in the following issues of Royal Life: