Trooping of The Queen’s Colours is an extremely traditional ceremony that has taken place by different British regiments since the 16th century and since 1748 has been planned to mark the sovereign’s official birthday. Within the United Kingdom the ceremony is celebrated on a Saturday in June. This year (2013) it will be held on the 15th.
Even though Her Majesty The Queen’s actual birthday is 21st April the ceremony is traditionally planned to take place on a day in Summer when the weather is on the side of the ceremony. The actual ceremony was created centuries ago as a way to parade the new regimental uniforms and flags so that members of the armed forces were able to recognise their fellow countrymen on the battlefield. Originally the ceremony would have taken place each night and in the mid 1700′s the ceremony was incorporated into regular and standard guard mounting procedures.
Being quintessentially British one would imagine such a ceremony would be unique to the United Kingdom however Australia, one of Her Majesty’s Commonwealth realms hold their very own Trooping of the Colour ceremony each and every year also.
Trooping the Colour in Australia
The Band of the Royal Military College along with the Corps of Staff Cadets hold the ceremony in Canberra, NSW, Australia - the country’s capital – to mark The Queen’s official birthday in June. To celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee the ceremony was held in a public space for the second time ever according to the website of the Australian Army.
The website also said the following about the event in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee:
The Commandant, Staff and Cadets of the Royal Military College of Australia are particularly proud of the customs and traditions contained within the ceremony and welcome the opportunity to display the skills involved in portraying the pageant in the beautiful surrounds of Canberra’s lake.
The first time the country held a Trooping of the Colour ceremony on the Queen’s Birthday Parade was in 1956 and it has continued ever since.