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Trooping of the Colour: What exactly is it and why do the royals celebrate it each year?

In honour of this year's scaled back Trooping the Colour, we take a look back at the rich history of the event in all its amazing pomp, fanfare and glory.

By Chloe Lal
In honour of Queen Elizabeth's birthday, the annual tradition of the Trooping the Colour traditionally sees all our favourite royals out in action.
It's a time of high anticipation on any royal fan's calendar - from seeing the specially picked outfits of Duchess Catherine and Meghan, to seeing the youngest royals grace the balcony and get up to all kinds of mischief.
Of course, 2021's event has once again been scaled back in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic - but that won't stop us from basking in Trooping's rich history.
There's always something light-hearted happening on that balcony!

What is Trooping the Colour?

The special event gives avid royal watchers the chance to see the modern monarchy in their element - big hats, bright colours, royal waves and all!
The event is one of the most spectacular days in the royal calendar and dates all the way back to the 17th century.
Trooping the Colour is performed by regiments of the British and Commonwealth armies. In the past, it took place on battlefields and regiment's colours or flags were used as rallying points.
These days, Trooping the Colour is a celebratory parade in honour of the Queen's birthday - despite it actually being on April 21.
It is carried out by fully trained troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall.
Traditionally, over 1,400 officers, 400 musicians and 200 horses attend the grand event. The Queen herself travels by carriage from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade across St. James's Park to inspect her troops, receive a royal salute and take a salute of her own.
The glorious event has been watched by generations of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public.
We take a look back at the royal family enjoying the Trooping the Colour in all its pomp, fanfare and glory.

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