Living so close to Buckingham Palace is particularly useful when one loves parades. And this country loves marching. I went down to the Mall this morning to watch Trooping the Colour, a ceremony marking the Queen’s official birthday. It was a fascinating event. It’s easy to forget that the participants in this parade are all active soldiers in the British Army. Most have served, or will soon serve, in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Here’s a better explanation from the monarchy’s website:
Although The Queen was born on 21 April, it has long been the tradition to celebrate the Sovereign’s birthday publicly on a day in the summer, when good weather is more likely. Trooping the Colour is carried out by fully trained and operational troops from the Household Division (Foot Guards and Household Cavalry) on Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall, watched by members of the Royal Family, invited guests and members of the public. Read more →