Trooping the Colour: What is the Queen’s birthday parade, when is it - and how can I watch it?

The annual Trooping the Colour will kick of the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations, as Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest-reigning monarch

Once a year, to mark the Queen’s official birthday, Trooping the Colour is held on Horse Guards Parade in St James’s Park.

However, this year is particularly special as it will mark 70 years since the accession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II.

This parade is the first in a host of celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

So find out everything you need to know about Trooping the Colour here.

Queen Elizabeth II attends a military ceremony in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle to mark her Official Birthday on June 12, 2020 at Windsor Castle. Trooping of the Colour has marked the Official Birthday of the Sovereign for over 260 years. Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

What is Trooping the Colour?

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Trooping the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiments of the British Army.

The ‘Colour’ is the battalion flag that is ‘Trooped’ - or carried - slowly down the ranks of soldiers.

The colour will be trooped by the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, and more than 1200 officers.

Soldiers from the Household Division will put on a military display on Horse Guards Parade, together with Army musicians and around 240 horses.

This annual event has now marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years.

At the end of the main ceremony, the Queen leads the troops down the Mall to Buckingham Palace.

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She then makes the salute at the Palace.

Afterwards, the Queen will appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

There will be an impressive six-minute flypast, of more than 70 aircraft, to coincide with the Royal Family’s balcony appearance.

During the parade a Royal Gun Salute will be fired.

The Platinum Jubilee 2022 is set to be a huge event to celebrate the Queen’s 70 years on the throne (image: Getty Images)

When is Trooping the Colour?

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The Trooping the Colour ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 2.

The Parade begins at Horse Guards at 10am and will finish by 12.25pm.

The fly-past by the Royal Air Force takes place at 1pm, as the Royal Family stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Where can I watch Trooping the Colour?

Members of the public, who applied via a ballot earlier in the year, will be watching the event from the stands of the Horse Guards Parade.

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However, this is sold out - so where can you get the second best view?

There is an opportunity for people to view the display by standing on The Mall or on the edge of St James’s Park overlooking Horse Guards.

Although, this is a very limited view as the parade passes on its journey between Buckingham Palace and the Horse Guards Parade.

During the ceremony, there will be an opportunity to watch the event via large screens, set up in St James’ Park.

The screens have been organised by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The event will also be broadcasted live on BBC, ITV and Sky, for those in the UK and overseas.

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The 1pm Royal Air Force fly-past can be viewed from The Mall.