Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of the United Kingdon of Great Britain and Northern Ireland celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on April 21and her official birthday on a Saturday in June. This year’s ceremony will take place on Saturday June 12. The Queen will leave Buckingham Palace at 10.45am to travel down The Mall to Horseguard’s Parade.
The fly-past will take place at 1pm. If you wish to see the procession from The Mall, you are advised to leave plenty of time to find a position to watch from.
The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday: a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London.
In 2006, Her Majesty celebrated her 80th Birthday with a walkabout in the streets outside of Windsor Castle to meet well-wishers.
On her official birthday, Her Majesty is joined by other members of the Royal Family at the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade which moves between Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Horseguards’ Parade.
The tradition of Trooping the Colour Trooping the Colour is carried out by fully trained and operational troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, watched by members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public.
This military ceremony dates back to the early eighteenth century or earlier, when the colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (or ‘trooped’) down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.
Since 1748, this parade has also marked the Sovereign’s official birthday. From the reign of Edward VII onwards, the Sovereign has taken the salute in person at Trooping the Colour.
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.
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