Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Queen's Birthday Celebrated in Style at the Trooping of the Colour

Queens Birthday Trooping of colours at Horse Guards Parade
Trooping of the colour at Queen's Birthday - photo by UK Ministry of Defence

This piece is contributed by Darren Douglas. 

The Queen's official birthday was celebrated in style at the annual trooping of the colour on June 15th, an event that attracts hundreds of tourists each year. Visitors that are looking for unusual and unique things to do in London. This year's parade ended with a 41-gun salute and RAF flypast, with members of the royal family looking on from Buckingham Palace. The Queen was in attendance at the event, while Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles also made an appearance.

Trooping of the Colour has been a great British tradition since the 17th century and during the ceremony, the Queen travels down from Buckingham Palace in a royal procession with mounted troops or horse guards known as the Household Cavalry. It usually takes place on the second or third Saturday in June, although the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. The event is celebrated in late spring, to allow for the warmer weather (and because, well, who wouldn't like to have two birthdays!).

So, if you are on a trip to London this summer, one of the most iconic places you can visit is Buckingham Palace. The palace is the official London residence and principal workplace of the British monarch. It has 775 rooms, including 19 state rooms, 52 royal and guest bedrooms, 188 staff bedrooms, 92 offices and 78 bathrooms.

Buckingham Palace

It is often host to grand state occasions and used to greet national and international dignitaries. It is also open to the public where visitors can explore some of the most precious and revered pieces of art that reside within the palace walls.

You may not get the chance to meet the Queen or her extended family in person, but you'll certainly get a view of how the monarchy live. For further pageantry you may also get a chance to visit the Household Cavalry Museum. Here you can experience for yourself a behind-the-scenes look at the Household Cavalry, which helps to lead the royal procession in the Trooping of the Colour.

The museum takes guests on a journey through the fascinating stories of those who form part of the Household Cavalry, while interactive designs and rare artefacts are sure to keep visitors entertained. You'll also get a chance to hear the first hand accounts of the troops themselves, and to witness troopers working with horses in the stables, which date all the way back to the 18th century.

If your daytime is already full, the venue is also an ideal place for evening visits and guards will be on hand to answer questions about their rich history. Tours last up to an hour and they include a special glass of champagne to add a little extra sophistication and style to your evening.

Darren writes about and maintains an interest in a wide range of subjects including tourism, sports and music. 

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