Coming from a military family, my husband is a big fan of military pageantry.
Thus when I learned on my visit to Buckingham Palace last year that the Queen's "royal year" includes "trooping the colour," a tradition dating from the mid-1600's that allowed soldiers to identify their units via their company's "colour," or flag, during the Civil War (that's the British Civil War...), I had to apply for tickets.
The tradition evolved into an opportunity for the monarch, as command in chief, to inspect the troops, and was eventually done regularly in celebration of the official birthday for King George III.
To get it just right, there are two dress rehearsals, one for the Major General, another for the Prince of Wales on successive Saturdays. If you don't win lottery tickets to the Queen's trooping, you can get back up tickets to one of the rehearsals, which we did. It was time well spent.
|See the mounted band in the distance?|
|Slow troop by the mounted cavalry.|
|Trooping in their own special way in St. Jame's Park.|