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Review Highlights
Proud to be British.

This was an amazing experience not to be missed. To see the Royal family right in front of us was... read more

Reviewed 29 August 2018
Angela M
Good - Only If You Don't Mind Being Packed Like A Can Of Sardines

We arrived at 6am-which is great because only a handful of people are there that early. We were... read more

Reviewed 28 August 2018
Columbia, Maryland
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Reviewed 25 January 2018

This is an amazing event ... I really recommend it. The bands , the marching the atmosphere... a truly British experience for everyone to enjoy.

Date of experience: June 2017
2  Thank Lorna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2017

If you are looking for a good opportunity to catch a glimpse of the British Royal Family, and to enjoy some colourful royal pageantry, the annual 'Trooping the Colour' ceremony is going to be a great opportunity for you. Unfortunately it only happens once a year, on a Saturday in mid-June. I was amongst the crowds on The Mall this year, so thought I would share some tips to help you with your planning (if you are thinking about attending next year), to maximise your enjoyment of the occasion. And if you are a fan of all things royal, it's a bit of a 'must do' if you are in London when it is scheduled.

The ‘Trooping the Colour’ is a ceremony which is performed by various regiments of British and Commonwealth armies, and it also marks the official birthday of the British sovereign, currently Queen Elizabeth II. It’s held mid-June at the Horse Guards Parade, a large parade ground by St James’s Park, off Whitehall. It is possible to attend the actual ceremony. You need to apply in writing before the end of February, and tickets are then allocated by ballot, and then on receipt of a payment (£35 in 2018 - see below for more details).

However, the Queen and other members of the Royal family travel in carriages to and from Buckingham Palace down The Mall to the Horse Guards Parade, and being on The Mall is where you are going to get your best glimpses of the royals and all the colourful pageantry associated with this grand occasion. And it's for free! You’ll see various royals in carriages and on horseback, the Queen's Cavalry, numerous foot guards, the mounted bands of the Household Cavalry, drum corps, pipers, and lots of guards wearing those huge black bear-skin hats! And lots of armed soldiers and police officers who are there to keep you safe!

So here’s some useful tips.

1. Get to The Mall EARLY! The Mall will be very crowded, and you probably won’t get a front row viewing spot if you are not there by 9.00am. The procession first heads down the Mall around 10.45, and then back to Buckingham Palace around 12:15, so yes, there is a lot of standing around. But it’s what you have to do to secure a good viewing spot!
2. St James’s Park is probably the easiest Underground station to use. The Mall is a short walk through St James’s Park. You won’t be able to cross ‘The Mall if you get there too late as it will be closed off.
3. If it’s a sunny day, standing on the left side of The Mall (facing Buckingham Palace) will have you in the shade of the trees, and the best light for your photographs (as you will not be looking into the sun!). However, standing on the right side of The Mall, as close as possible to the front of Buckingham Palace, will give you the best views of the procession as it goes around the Queen Victoria Memorial, and also the best views when the royals appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. These spots fill up very early so you may want to arrive even earlier.
4. Bring refreshments. There are cafes in St James’s Park, and toilet facilities, but having to user them may cause you to lose your viewing spot.
5. Have your cameras ready as soon as you hear the music. The procession doesn’t dawdle, so be prepared.
6. Be respectful of others. Parent, manage your children; and adults, having a few young children stand in front of you will not really impede your viewing pleasure.
7. The 'fly past', performed by the Royal Air Force's aerobatic team, the Red Arrows, takes place at 13:00. The Mall will be opened to the public at this stage, so stand in the middle of the Mall to witness this outstanding display; you won't miss the red, white and blue plumes from the aircraft flying in formation over Buckingham Palace.
8. If you really want to attend the actual 'Trooping the Colour' ceremony, here's where you can apply for tickets: write to Brigade Major, HQ Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AX. You'll need to apply in January or February; The Household Division website will have all the details.
9. Finally, be patient with the wait times, and enjoy!

Date of experience: June 2017
17  Thank 997briant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2017

I arrived to the Trooping of the Colour at 8:20am, the first row was getting full pretty quickly, so if you want a good space, come around then. There was obviously a ton of waiting and lots of people who try to squeeze their way in.

Including children. Word to parents if you bring your kids here- please teach your children some manners. If you do not arrive until later in the morning, don't try to have your kids shove their way in because they are "little." I let two kids come next to me and then next thing I know 3 more friends appeared and they did not stop bickering the entire time. At one point I had to tell them to stop hitting each other because they were hitting me. They were also American (I am American) so I was getting even more annoyed with their parents who weren't paying attention to them.

That being said, I had a wonderful view of everyone coming by- Kate & Harry and the Queen and Prince Philip. It was something! I did not stay for the second procession later in the afternoon (I had enough standing in that heat) and the flyover. 2 1/2 hours of waiting was enough. But many people left after she went to the Parade so you may be able to come by around 11 and get a spot for the return trip.

Date of experience: June 2017
6  Thank Real_Travel_Gatos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 July 2017

Great tradition and incredible display. Very busy despite recent terror attacks. Fabulous weather helped!

Date of experience: June 2017
Thank HighMaintenance69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2017

We were very lucky to get tickets in the ballot to witness the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in Horse Guards Parade.
On one of the hottest days of the year, we witnessed the precision and spectacle of the occasion almost in disbelief at the skill of soldiers, bandsmen and horses performing the intricate manoeuvres required for this very special occasion. The significance of this day for the men and women of the Irish Guard (this year) is of great personal and regimental pride.
The presence of the Queen and other members of the Royal family is also a significant factor. It is very rare to be able to see so many of them together and in such close proximity to the public and is appreciated by the thousands of people from all over the world who come to London to be part of this occasion.
For those fortunate to have tickets for the stands it pays to arrive early, you do have to queue to enter, pass through security, find your seat and be settled by 10am.
Following a procession along the Mall the Queen arrives at Horse Guards at 11am. The ceremony last for about an hour after which the Royal party, guards and the mounted troops return down the Mall. At Midday an RAF flypast flies over the Mall towards Buckingham Palace where the Royal family have gathered on the balcony. The mall is fully open to the public after the Royal party and Military escorts have passed by. The atmosphere and colour of this event is well worth attending for something you will never forget.

Date of experience: June 2017
2  Thank travel2151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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