THE Trooping the Color parade traditionally celebrates the Queen’s official – but not the real – birthday and will mark the start of her platinum anniversary celebrations in 2022.
But what exactly is it and why does the queen have her birthday twice?
What is Trooping the Color?
Trooping the Color is an annual event that dates back to Charles II in the 17th century when regimental colors marched in front of the soldiers so they could recognize their unit in battle.
The Queen has saluted almost every year since her coronation in 1953.
The only exception to this was in 1955 when it was canceled due to a national rail strike.
At the beginning, the queen is greeted with a royal salute and the national anthem.
The parade begins and ends with a second royal salute.
Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family gather on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a Royal Air Force flight.
Why does the Royal Family attend the Trooping of the Colour?
The appearance of the royal family on the balcony of the palace has become an anticipated event in the royal calendar.
The first recorded appearance on a royal balcony was made by Queen Victoria in 1851, during the opening celebrations of the Great Exhibition.
And since then it has become an established tradition and a rare opportunity to see the royal family together in one place.
In previous years, among those invited were descendants of the monarch, her sister and cousins and their husbands.
More than 40 family members attended for the Queen’s 90th birthday.
In 2022, however, the number will be significantly reduced.
In May, it was confirmed that the Queen had decided to break the royal tradition and only working royals would appear on the balcony for the platinum jubilee celebrations.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew will not be among them due to the change.
Why does the queen have two birthdays?
The Queen traditionally has two birthdays, her actual birthday on April 21 and an official birthday marked each summer by the Trooping the Color ceremony.
Her real birthday is in April, although the “official” celebration is in June.
She originally celebrated her birthday on the second Thursday in June, but the date was changed to the second Saturday in June in 1959.
The reason this strange tradition started is quintessentially British: namely the temperamental weather in the UK.
It was started by George II in 1748 – because the weather was too bad to hold his birthday parade on the actual November date.
Platinum Jubilee of the Queen
Everything to know about the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee