Trooping the Colour 2023: When is it and what is the parade route?

·4-min read
King Charles will be back on the balcony next month (PA) (PA Wire)
King Charles will be back on the balcony next month (PA) (PA Wire)

King Charles III is set to celebrate his official birthday as Sovereign with the annual Royal celebration event - Trooping the Colour.

The colourful display of pageantry is set to take place to mark the monarch’s birthday - the first of his reign - with the historical parade through the streets of London later next month.

King Charles and his Queen Camilla will be back on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the centuries-old tradition, which is expected to yet again see thousands of royal fans lining the streets to cheer on the newly-crowned king.

But what is Trooping the Colour actually all about? Here is everything you need to know:

What is Trooping the Colour?

Trooping the Colour is an annual event, always taking place in summer, to celebrate the reigning monarch’s birthday.

A King or Queen has two birthdays a year - one in June and their other, personal, date of birth. King Charles III’s actual birthday is on November 14, and last year he turned 74.

The annual summertime celebration to mark a monarch’s birthday has taken place since 1748 when it started with King George II.

The Trooping the Colour event takes place in June, due to more favourable weather, and is a parade through the streets of the capital.

Military personnel including more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and hundreds of army musicians will march in the parade under the watchful eye of the reigning King this year.

But this is not the first time King Charles will take the salute from the British Army fanfare. Last year, he - then as the Prince of Wales - took the salute and watched the parade alongside his mother - the late Queen Elizabeth on the balcony.

Then, more than 1,500 officers and soldiers along with 350 horses from the Household Division took part in Trooping the Colour, which was the first time the parade had been staged in full since the Coronavirus pandemic.

More than 70 aircraft - including Spitfires from World War Two and the Red Arrows - took part in a flypast, with several jets flying together to form the number ‘70’ in honour of the Queen’s reign.

This year, there will also be a RAF flypast featuring a number of military aircraft.

When is Trooping the Colour?

The event will take place on Saturday, June 17 and will be done by the Regiment of the Household Division.

Each year, a different Regiment is paraded at the Trooping the Colour - and each Regiment has a Colonel at the helm, who is normally either a member of the Royal Family or a senior officer within the British Army.

The Colonel of the Regiment for the Household Division is King Charles III.

King Charles III announced in December that he had appointed three new Colonels following being made monarch.

The Princess of Wales - Catherine - was made Colonel of the Irish Guards and replaced her husband William, and Queen Camilla replaced Prince Andrew as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.

Prince William was made Colonel of the Welsh Guards - the role previously held by King Charles when he was prince.

There were no other changes to the existing Colonels of the other Regiments within the Household Division:

Where is the parade route?

The parade is the same every year and first will see King Charles travel down The Mall from Buckingham Palace by carriage.

The King then rides back to the Palace and watches the parade from the balcony alongside other working royals.

Troops march past, with the route going from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, and back again.

People can apply for tickets in a ballot to be in the seated stands each year, but this has sold out for 2023.

Those without tickets are advised to choose a spot on The Mall or on the edge of St James’s Park overlooking Horse Guards to watch the parade from the sidelines.

The event is scheduled to start around 10am, with the fly-past at 1pm.

The parade is also broadcast live on the BBC.