Each year, everyone’s favorite members of the royal family — including Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton, Prince William, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and others — gather outside on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the annual Trooping the Colour Parade.
Although this is known to be the royal family’s biggest annual appearance, many royal admirers are unsure of the actual reason behind the highly anticipated parade. As the British monarchy gears up to attend this year’s event on Saturday, June 8, let’s go over what the Trooping the Colour parade is really about.
Well, the Trooping the Colour parade is held in June each year to celebrate Elizabeth’s birthday. The tradition — which first began after King George II combined the military march with his birthday celebration in 1748 — got it’s name thanks to all the troops that would honor their flags during battle. Hence, “trooping” the “colour.”
Although the queen celebrates her birthday privately, which is actually April 21, the parade is a way for the family and public to engage together. Therefore, each year the 93-year-old queen celebrates her “official” birthday at the public event. So cool!
For years, the Elizabeth would inspect her troops on horseback. However, she began attending the event in carriage since 1987.
The most anticipated part of the event involves the royal family’s annual appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. While members of the royal family gather on the balcony from time to time throughout the year, Trooping the Colour is the only guaranteed time you’ll get to see all your favorite royals at once.
According to the Telegraph, this annual event typically features over 1,500 officers and men, as well as 244 horses. Those invited to the historical parade are relatives of Elizabeth, including her sister, Princess Margaret, the queen’s cousins, their spouses and their children. For Her Majesty’s 90th birthday in 2016, more than 40 family members assembled on the balcony. Wow!
This year, William and Kate’s youngest child, 13-month-old Prince Louis, is expected to make his debut appearance at Trooping the Colour alongside his siblings, Prince George, 5, and Princess Charlotte, 4. Even though Meghan, 37, is on maternity leave after welcoming her first royal son, Archie Harrison, last month, it is likely she will be in attendance — without Archie, sadly — as well.
If you want to watch the spectacle go down live, the parade will be broadcast live on the BBC in the U.K. — which will air at 5:30 a.m. EST. The program will also be available online shortly after the event concludes.
We can’t wait for this year’s event!