Trooping the Colour - marking The Queen's birthday during her Platinum Jubilee

Every year the UK Sovereign's birthday is officially celebrated by the ceremony of Trooping the Colour - more commonly known in recent years as The Queen's Birthday Parade. The event has special significance during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in 2022...

Published: May 30, 2022 at 2:42 pm
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What is Trooping the Colour?

Since 1748, the British Sovereign’s official birthday in June has been marked by the event known as Trooping the Colour. Over 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and up to 400 musicians present a parade to mark the occasion. The parade processes from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, together with members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The parade ends with a now traditional fly-past by the RAF, which will be watched by the Queen and her family from the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

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This year, on 2 June, the Colour to be trooped is that of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards. Fresh new colours were presented to Irish Guards just last month by the Duke of Cambridge – somewhat belatedly since the regiment had been due new colours in 2019; this was partly due to the pandemic but especially due to the regiment’s recent extensive commitments around the world.

What bands will play at this year's Trooping The Colour?

Music is traditionally provided by the massed bands of the foot guards and the mounted Band of the Household Cavalry, together with a Corps of Drums, often with pipers, totally around 400 musicians.

Pipers accompanied by drums are a certainty this year, given the prominent part to be played by the 1st Battalion Irish Guards.

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What music will they play?

This varies from year to year, but will invariably include at least two renditions of the National Anthem – one for the arrival at Buckingham Palace, another for the end of the procession. The parade itself, which involves at various stages slow marches and quick marches, will most probably include such favourites as ‘The British Grenadiers’ (a ‘quick’ 17th-century march probably heard since the original Trooping the Colour), ‘Freedom of Windsor’, and the march from Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots (a slow march often used at such events). We may also expect the lively ‘Escort to the Colour’, given the Irish Guard’s honoured place in the parade.

Authors

daniel jaffe
Daniel JafféJournalist and Critic, BBC Music Magazine

Daniel Jaffé has been associated with BBC Music Magazine since 2004 when he was the reviews editor, working in that post until he went freelance in 2011. Previously he was on the editorial teams of Classic CD and Gramophone. He is a specialist in both Russian and 20th-century British music.

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