The Trooping of the Colour – June 2005
The Trooping of the Colour takes place each summer in London and is the official celebration of Queen Elizabeth's birthday – even though her real date of birth is 21 April. It consists of a military parade involving a staggering 1400 men and women from various army regiments, plus hundreds of horses and gun carriages. The parade starts at Buckingham Palace and moves up the Mall to converge on Horseguards Parade. Here, surrounded by spectator stands, a lot of very impressive precision marching to military bands takes place, as well as an inspection of the troops and a chance to glimpse members of the Royal Family.
The troops participating in the parade are drawn from a military organisation called the Household Division which is a part of the British Army and therefore composed of fully trained, operational troops. The participating regiments include the Life Guards, Blues and Royals, Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards, Welsh Guards, and the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery. For more details on these and some photos, please check my previous detailed post on the Trooping of the Colour.
If you want to see the action up close and personal from the spectator stands on Horseguards Parade, you have three chances to do so: two rehearsals and the event itself, on three consecutive Saturdays in May/June. You need to apply in writing to the Household Division in about February and request tickets. They then allocate tickets by ballot and inform you whether your application is successful. Tickets must be paid for in advance and are sent to you by post about a month before the event. Should you be lucky enough to get tickets, remember that there is a dress code in the parade ground stands: lounge suit, morning dress or military regalia for men. No mention of women, but I presume a frock would be in order rather than jeans! Also, take a hat – some of the stands face directly into the hot sun. (If you can't get to London but want to see a trooping ceremony, DVDs of the Trooping of the Colour are also sometimes available.)
And even if you don't get a seat in the stands, you can watch for free from anywhere along The Mall. Beware though – the event is extremely popular and you may have to show up and stake your claim early to a spot with an unobstructed view, like I did - otherwise all your photos will be of the back of the tall guy in front of you's head
This is part of a series of non-food photographs that will be published every Saturday on CookSister. Click here for a full list of photographs previously featured. All photos featured in Saturday Snapshots are available to buy as greeting cards or prints in my RedBubble store.