What better time to start than the weekend of Trooping the Colour. While I plan to post a breakdown of this centuries old ceremony later, I want to write a few, quick words before the event begins Saturday.
The parade, held at Horse Guards Parade every June, is intended to mark the official (but not actual) birthday of the British monarch. The ceremony is based on a time in military history when the infantry soldiers of Europe’s armies fought in long lines. Flags, or colours, were used to designate different regiments. In the chaos of battle, the colour became an important rallying point, making it necessary for soldiers to know what it looked like. Therefore, the colour was regularly trooped in front of them so they knew what it looked like.
This Saturday, the Nijmegen Company of the Grenadier Guards will troop their regimental colours. Other regiments taking part include the Coldstream, Scots, Welsh and Irish Foot Guard regiments, the Household Cavalry and , since 1997, the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. Music is provided by the massed bands of the Foot Guard regiments and the mounted, massed bands of the Household Cavalry.