The trooping of the colour is a long-standing British tradition. It has been used to celebrate the sovereign's birthday for more than 260 years. The display involves thousands of soldiers, hundreds of horses and musicians. It's a chance for the household division, the Queen's personal troops, to show off their horsemanship, precision, and skill.
There are a few different stages to the Trooping of the Colour. The ceremony starts at Buckingham Palace. The soldiers greet the Queen with a traditional salute before she performs an inspection. The assembled musicians then perform. The performance is called a musical troop. Once this is done, the troops then carry the regimental colour. There is there a parade that begins at Buckingham Palace travels along the Mall as far as Whitehall and then returned back to Buckingham Palace.
The Queen used to ride on horseback during the parade however she now rides in a carriage. Once the Queen has returned to Buckingham Palace, she's once more saluted by the troops. The Queen and the royal family then moved to the balcony in Buckingham Palace to watch the flypast by the RAF. It all begins at around 10 am and concludes with the fly by at 1 pm.
How To Watch
There are actually three opportunities to witness the Trooping of the Colour. There are two practice runs in the weeks leading up to the Queen's birthday, so if you're not in the city on the big day, you still have a chance to see it all.
You have two options to watch the parade and the Trooping of the Colour. You can wait on the parade route. So either along the Mall or in St. James' Park. The other option is to buy tickets for the stands. The stands are located around Horse Guards’ Parade. The tickets are quite popular, so you have to enter a ballot to get one. If you are lucky enough to get a ticket, don't forget to follow the dress code or you might be refused entry!
To get there from the hotel, you want to get on the circle line at Paddington. You can either get off at St. James' Park or Westminster, it's a short walk from either station.