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Trooping the Colour

During the month of June, a day is set aside as the Queen's official birthday. This is usually the second Saturday in June. On this day there takes place on Horse Guards' Parade in Whitehall the magnificent spectacle of Trooping the Colour, which begins at about 11.15 a. m. (unless rain intervenes, when the ceremony is usually postponed until conditions are suitable).

This is pageantry of rare splendour, with the Queen riding side-saddle on a highly trained horse.

The colours of one of the five regiments of Foot Guards are trooped before the Sovereign. As she rides on to Horse Guards' parade the massed array of the Brigade of Guards, dressed in ceremonial uniforms, await her inspection.

For twenty minutes the whole parade stands rigidly to attention while being inspected by the Queen. Then comes the Trooping ceremony itself, to be followed by the famous March Past of the Guards to the music of massed bands, at which the Queen takes the Salute. The precision drill of the regiments is notable.

The ceremony ends with the Queen returning to Buckingham Palace at the head of her Guards.

The Escort to the Colour, chosen normally in strict rotation, then mounts guard at the Palace.

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