|The Guards' Badge|
|The pendant given to Princess Mary and the symbols represented: (top row, left to right) the Grenadier Guards, the Welsh Guards, the Coldstream Guards, (bottom row) the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards|
Queen Elizabeth travels from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade for the ceremony (she rode on horseback in uniform until 1986, after which she began riding in Queen Victoria's 1842 ivory-mounted phaeton). She is preceded by carriages carrying a selection of senior royals, and is followed by the Royal Colonels (the Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, in the carriage with her; the Prince of Wales, Colonel of the Welsh Guards, the Duke of Kent, Colonel of the Scots Guards, the Duke of Cambridge, Colonel of the Irish Guards, and the Princess Royal, Colonel of the Blues and Royals, on horseback behind her). After the ceremony she returns to the palace, takes a salute while standing on a dais outside, and then joins her family on the famous balcony to watch a fly-past from the Royal Air Force. She has attended every year of her reign except for 1955, when the festivities were cancelled due to a national rail strike.
If you’re interested in viewing Trooping the Colour this year (2012), it will be held on Saturday, June 16th. The BBC broadcasts the ceremony live, starting at 10:30 a.m London time this year on BBC One in the United Kingdom.
Photos: Getty/Corbis/British Army/Illustrated London News