Trooping the Colour rehearsals ahead of the King’s first birthday parade
King Charles is preparing for his first-ever Trooping the Colour as monarch, a British royal tradition jam-packed with pomp and pageantry.
The key event in the royal diary takes place every year and marks the official birthday of the British Sovereign. It dates back centuries and became an annual event from 1760.
Trooping the Colour is marked by a spectacular parade of hundreds of soldiers, with members of the Royal Family appearing either on horseback or in elaborate carriages.
The King and Queen will then lead members of the Royal Family out onto the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the RAF Flypast and wave to the crowds gathered below.
Here Express.co.uk looks at all the key events of Trooping the Colour, including why it takes place, what happens on the day, timings and who will appear on the palace balcony.
The balcony moment is a key part of Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour is a major event in the royal calendar
When is Trooping the Colour?
Trooping the Colour, also known as the King’s birthday parade, is traditionally held on a Saturday in June. The date of which is not fixed.
From 1979 to 2017 it was always held on the Saturday from 11 to 17 June; however, in 2018 it was held on 9 June and in 2019 on 8 June.
The event even went ahead during the coronavirus pandemic, with the Queen hosting a significantly parred-back version at Windsor Castle in 2020 and 2021. No members of the public were allowed to attend and the ceremony was socially distanced.
Last year, Trooping the Colour coincided with the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
This year the event is being held on Saturday June 17 to coincide with the King’s new, official birthday.
Rehearsals have already taken place
What happens at Trooping the Colour?
Over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together on June 17 in a fantastic display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare – much like we saw at the King’s Coronation last month.
Each year a different regimental colour (flag) is trooped and members of the five Foot Guards regiments take it in turns to lead the parade.
The Welsh Guards will have the honour of trooping the colour this year and for the first time in 30 years, all five regiments of Foot Guards of the Household Division will be in attendance.
Another first for this year’s military spectacle will be the addition of the 1st Battalion London Guards, who are the Foot Guards’ reserve unit. They will be responsible for lining the processional route along The Mall.
Queen Elizabeth II riding sidesaddle during the Trooping the Colour procession in 1981
Kate and Camilla riding on a carriage for the 2022 Trooping the Colour
Thousands of people are expected to head to the Mall to catch a glimpse of the parade as it moves from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guard’s Parade.
Members of the Royal Family will be out in force, with some travelling on horseback and others sitting in one of the grand carriages.
Trooping the Colour concludes with an RAF fly-past, watched by Members of the Royal Family from Buckingham Palace balcony.
A 41-gun salute is also fired in Green Park to mark the occasion.
King Charles’s Coronation saw senior members of the Royal Family appear on the balcony
Who will appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony?
A good indicator of who will be present for the balcony appearance is the recent Coronation.
On the day, the King and Queen were joined by senior members of the Royal Family, as well as the page boys who attended to their majesties during the service.
The same working royals are expected to appear on the balcony for Trooping the Colour.
This is set to include the Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and their children James, the Earl of Wessex and Lady Louise.
Princess Anne and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence are also expected to make an appearance, as well as Princess Alexandra of Kent, the Duke of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester.
Non-working royals, such as Prince Andrew and his two children Princess Beatrice and Eugenie are not expected to appear on the balcony.
Prince Harry is not expected to attend Trooping the Colour
Will Prince Harry be there?
Prince Harry is not expected to attend Trooping the Colour, as he didn’t join the parade when he was in the UK last year.
As he is no longer a senior working royal he would hold no official position and would not be invited onto the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Prior to his departure from the Royal Family he and his wife Meghan did participate in the birthday parade. However, Harry is not expected to travel back from the US to attend the event this year.
Trooping the Colour is well rehearsed
What are the timings of Trooping the Colour?
Trooping the Colour will start from 10am on Saturday, June 19.
The parade is set to last several hours, with the RAF flypast scheduled for approximately 1pm.
The RAF flypast concludes Trooping the Colour
How to watch Trooping the Colour
Members of the public are able to stand on The Mall or on the edge of St James’s Park overlooking the Horse Guards from 9am. But it is likely to get very busy.
For those wanting to stay at home and avoid the crowds, Trooping the Colour will be broadcast live on the BBC.
Prince William is Colonel of the Welsh Guards
Are there rehearsals for Trooping the Colour?
Last week striking pictures captured the preparations getting underway ahead of King Charles’s first Trooping the Colour.
Photos show members of the Household Cavalry rehearsing on The Mall for the celebrations on June 17.
A final rehearsal will take place on Saturday, June 10 led by Prince William.
As the Colonel of the Welsh Guards Prince William will lead the final evaluation of troops taking part in the ceremony in the Colonel’s Review at Horse Guards Parade.
Is it the King’s birthday?
June 17 is not King Charles’s actual birthday, as he was born on November 14.
But monarchs typically have two birthdays, with one marked by Trooping the Colour.
Queen Elizabeth famously celebrated twice, firstly on her actual birthday on April 21, and then marked her “official” birthday at Trooping the Colour.
King Charles is continuing that tradition, after turning 74 in November.