Harald Joergens Photography
            The Queen's Birthday Parade 2013

Trooping the Colour 2013 Image Library

930 large photos of The Queen's Birthday Parade.

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Horse Guards Parade (see Interactive Panorama), London,

There are many more photos available, if you are looking for anything in particular, please send an email.

There are so many photos of the spectators that are covered in a different Trooping the Colour Spectators image library.

The image libraries of the two rehearsals, The Major General's Review and The Colonel's Review contain many more photos of individual participants in the parade, photos of every Birthday Parade since 2009 can be found here.

An interactive panorama of Horse Guards Parade, with all the grandstands in place, and visitor information like block numbers and locations of the lines of sentries, can be found here.

Trooping the Colour 2013 happened, unfortunately, in the absence of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who was still recovering from a stay in hospital. In his place, HRH the Duke of Kent, accompanied Her Majesty.

The parade was also the last public appearance of HRH The Duchess of Cambridge, before the birth of the Royal Baby.

For Major General George Norton is has been, to my knowledge, the last Trooping the Colour as General Officer Commanding London District and Major-General commanding the Household Division, he has taken the appointment as Deputy Commander NATO Rapid Deployment Corps in Italy.

Official army press release:

More than a thousand soldiers and airmen perform world class event to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty The Queen

More than a thousand soldiers and horses from the Household Division paraded in front of their Colonel in Chief, Her Majesty The Queen, today (15 June 2013) with the immaculate precision, colour and pageantry that marks them as truly World Class. Later as the last shot of a 41 gun Royal Salute was fired from The Green Park to mark The Queen’s Official Birthday, the skies roared with an impressive fly past from the RAF featuring 32 aircraft of 13 different types.

The centuries’ old tradition of Trooping The Colour has been held on Horse Guards Parade to honour the Sovereign’s Birthday almost annually since 1805. Each year the Five Foot Guards Regiments take it in turns to Troop their Colour in front of the Sovereign. Colour is the name given to the regimental flags of the British Army, and ere used as rallying points as long ago as the Kings of Babylon. In the Middle Ages, each Lord or Baron flew his banner as a sign by which his followers could distinguish him in battle. Colours were last carried into action by the 58th Foot in South Africa in 1881. Up to that time they participated in all the varying fortunes of their Regiment; were often torn by enemy fire and acquired an almost religious significance. Even today, uncased Colours are invariably carried by an officer and accompanied by an armed escort.

This year, the Colour being trooped in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, was that of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. The Welsh Guards have recently returned from operational service in Afghanistan where they worked as part of the Afghan Police Advisory Team assisting the country to achieve self-governance. The Field Officer in Brigade Waiting, Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, Welsh Guards, commanded the Parade.

All the soldiers were on parade today in the traditional ceremonial uniforms of the Household Cavalry, Royal Horse Artillery, and Foot Guards. Many more were working behind the scenes to ensure this, the most important parade of the year, went smoothly. The Royal Colonels (TRH The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge, and The Princess Royal) were also on parade today.

There were more than 200 horses, and more than 400 musicians from all the Household Division Bands & Corps of Drums who marched and played as one. The famous Drum Horses of the Mounted Bands with their immaculately waxed moustaches were also on parade.

The Guardsmen on parade today represented four of the five regiments of Foot Guards: Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots and Welsh, and many of the young soldiers have recently returned from operations in Afghanistan. The Irish Guards were represented only by their Band and their Regimental Adjutant, reflecting the battalion’s current heavy commitment to overseas deployments and training.

Immediately following the parade, The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery, with their six World War Guns led by teams of Irish Draught Horses, rode up the Mall ahead of the rear of the parade, to be in position to fire the 41 Gun Royal Salute in Green Park at 1252.

As the Royal Family returned to Buckingham Palace and keeping with tradition made their balcony appearance, The RAF performed a Flypast down the Mall which featured 32 aircraft of 13 different types from the famous Spitfire, Hurricane & Lancaster aircraft of the RAF Memorial Flight to modern multi-role Typhoon fighters, the Red Arrows Aerobatic Tram and the RAF’s latest and largest transport aircraft, Voyager. 2013 is the 95th anniversary of the RAF.

Background Information

Trooping The Colour

Colour is the name given to regimental flags of the British Army. The Colour being trooped today belongs to 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. Flags were used as rallying points as long ago as the Kings of Babylon. In the Middle Ages, each Lord or Baron flew his banner as a sign by which his followers could distinguish him in battle. By the time of Queen Elizabeth I a great number of “low-born captains in the infantry” who had no Arms to bear on their standards, were obliged to trust in the distinction of colour only. Consequently their flags assumed a diversity of hues and came to be called “Colours”. During the Civil War, 1642-1660, Colours came into use in individual Companies, and a Battalion would have ten or more. Regulations of 1661 established some kind of order and in 1707, during Queen Anne’s reign; the number of Colours was reduced to two per Regiment. Colours were lst carried into action by the 58th Foot in South Africa in 1881.Up to that time they participated in all the varying fortunes of their Regiment; were often torn by enemy fire and acquired an almost religious significance. Even today, uncased Colours are invariably carried by an officer and accompanied by an armed escort.

The Colour being trooped today is that of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards. Each Guards Battalion usually has two Colours, a Regimental Colour and a Queen’s Colour. Whenever The Sovereign is present, it is always The Queen’s Colour that is on parade. The Queen’s Colour of the Regiment, like those of the other Regiments of Foot Guards, is of crimson silk, thus differing from those of the Infantry Regiments of the line whose Queen’s Colour are the Union Flag.

The aspects of the parade have changed very little since the age when it was known as ’Lodging the Colours’. The significant difference, however, is that only one colour, the Queen’s Colour, is ‘Trooped’ by the Household Division today, wearing full dress, in honour of her Birthday. Hence it is also known as ‘The Queen’s Birthday Parade’, although 21st April is the actual birth date of the Queen. This custom of honouring the Sovereign’s Birthday was introduced in 1805, though, due to the illness of King George III, it was suspended from 1811-1820. The ceremony was restored on the accession of King George IV and has, thankfully, thrived ever since.

The earliest records of ‘Trooping the Colour’ can be found in order books of the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards of 250 years ago.

END official army press release

Official Court Circular:


15th June 2013

Her Majesty was present at The Queen's Birthday Parade on Horse Guards Parade this morning at which The Queen's Colour of the Welsh Guards was trooped.

The Queen was accompanied by The Duke of Kent (Colonel, Scots Guards), The Prince of Wales (Colonel, Welsh Guards), The Duke of Cambridge (Colonel, Irish Guards) and The Princess Royal (Gold Stick in Waiting and Colonel, The Blues and Royals, Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons).

Her Majesty was attended by Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank (Gold Stick and Colonel, The Life Guards), Lieutenant General James Bucknall (Colonel, Coldstream Guards) and Major General George Norton (Major General Commanding Household Division).

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Matheson of Matheson, younger, Colonel Toby Browne (Mounted Equerries in Waiting), Captain Oliver Morley (Coldstream Guards, Dismounted Equerry in Waiting) and Colonel Stuart Cowen (The Blues and Royals, Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons, Silver Stick in Waiting) were in attendance.

Colonel Hugh Bodington (Chief of Staff), Lieutenant Colonel Harry Scott (Silver Stick Adjutant) and the Household Division Staff were present.

The procession was led by Lieutenant Colonel Simon Soskin, Grenadier Guards (Brigade Major Household Division). The Troops on Parade, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Dino Bossi, Welsh Guards (Field Officer in Brigade Waiting), received The Queen with a Royal Salute.

The Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Henry of Wales, The Duchess of Cambridge, The Duke of York with Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York, The Earl and Countess of Wessex with The Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, The Duchess of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and other Members of the Royal Family drove to Horse Guards Parade and witnessed The Queen's Birthday Parade.

On the conclusion of the Parade, Her Majesty drove in a carriage back to Buckingham Palace at the head of The Queen's Guard, preceded by The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, under the command of Major Mark Edward, the Massed Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry, the Sovereign's Escort of the Household Cavalry, under the command of Major Nicholas Stewart, The Life Guards, and the Massed Bands of the Guards Division.

On arrival at Buckingham Palace, The Queen's Guard entered the Forecourt and formed up opposite the Old Guard, the remaining Guards marching past Her Majesty. The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Household Cavalry ranked past The Queen. Her Majesty, from Buckingham Palace, witnessed a fly-past by aircraft of the Royal Air Force, led by Wing Commander David Arthurton, to mark the official celebration of The Queen's Birthday.

Royal Salutes were fired today by The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park and from the Tower of London Saluting Battery by the Honourable Artillery Company.

END Official Court Circular

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