Trooping the Colour

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The annual pageantry and splendour which constitutes Trooping The Colour took place on Saturday 14 June 2014. Troopingthe Colour Marks the official birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and is believed to have been performed first during the reign of Charles II then in 1748 it was decided that the parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the Sovereign and it has been an annual event since 1760.

this year it was the turn of Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards to troop the colour, presented to them by Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace, last June. Resplendant in crimson silk, the colour carries 45 of the Regiment’s 77 battle honours, dating back to 1680 and up to the Gulf War of 1991. this year’s event was also of particular significance to all those who have served in Britain’s Armed Forces, being the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War It is also the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Campaign and the subsequent liberation of Nijmegen, after which this year’s Escort is named. Next year is the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, the battle at which the Grenadiers earned their name. The event was attended by The Prince of Wales, who is Colonel of the Welsh Guards, the Princess Royal, who is Colonel of the Blues and Royals, and the Duke of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards, who were all on horseback for the ceremony.The Duchess of Cambridge, arrived in a coach alongside the Duchess of Cornwall. HM The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh left Buckingham Palace at 10.45am and rode down the Mall in Queen Victoria’s 1842 ivory mounted phaeton, drawn by a pair of matching grey horses throughout Admiralty Arch onto Horseguards Parade. The Sovereign’s Escort, consisted of troops of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Mounted Bands, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals, accompanied by the Massed Bands of the Household Cavalry The event was observed by Prince Harry. Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. The Prime Minster David Cameron and his wife Sam Cameron also attended among other dignitaries.

In total there were more than 200 horses on parade, and more than 400 musicians from all the Household Division Bands & Corps of Drums including The Drum Horses of the Mounted Band. Other members of the Armed Services taking part in the Trooping of the Colour included the Household Cavalry, the Coldstream Guards, The Irish Guards, the Blues and Royals, the Scots Guards, the Grenadier Guards, the Royal Horse Artillery the Foot Guards and The Mounted band. The Household Cavalry, Royal Horse Artillery, and Foot Guards are among the oldest regiments in the British Army and have served as the personal bodyguards of the sovereign since the monarchy was restored in 1660. Music for the event included the traditional National Anthem, Les Huguenots, British Grenadiers Slow March, Hazelmere, the Grand March from Rienzi by Wagner, Men of Harlech, Scipio by Handel, Figaro, The Champion, Highland Laddie and Voice of the Guns. The occasion was marked by a traditional 41 Gun Royal Salute from Green Park, (21 gun salute to mark the Queen’s official birthday and another 20 gun salute because it takes place in a Royal park.) the Headquarter Squadron of the Honourable Artillery Company also fired a 62-gun salute at 1pm, in front of Inspecting Officer Colonel Robert Murphy, the Master Gunner from the Tower of London.

fter the Trooping of the Colour the royal party made their way back through Admiralty Arch, up TheMall and back to Buckingham Palace. On her return to Buckingham Palace The Queen took the salute as the Guards Divisions marched past. The Changing of the Guard ceremony then took place with the new guard being formed by the men of the Escort to the Colour. This was followed shortly afterwards by three generations of the Royal Family appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to witness the flypast by the Royal Airforce, which Included Merlin, Puma and Chinook Support Helicopters, the Douglas Dakota from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight, the Avro Lancaster, flanked by 2 Spitfire Mk9 from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, an E3a Sentry, a C 17 Globemaster, flanked by three Eurofighter Typhoons and three Tornado GR3s and a display by the Red Arrows.

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