Trooping the Colour
St. James's Park

Trooping the colour media accreditation

Media accreditation and resource for Trooping the Colour.

Once a year, to mark the King's official birthday, Trooping the Colour is held on Horse Guards Parade in St. James's Park, in early June. The event is covered by many national and international broadcasters and news outlets. 

Broadcast coverage of Trooping the Colour

If you are a member of the press and wish to cover the Trooping the Colour ceremony in person, please arrange your media accreditation here. This is separate to a Royal Parks news permit – you do not need a news permit for this ceremony. If you are covering the story but not attending, you can source broadcast quality images from our image library.

Media accreditation for the Queen Victoria Memorial and Canada Gate for Trooping the Colour 2024 is now closed. FBS members should apply via the FBS directly. 

Trooping the Colour – the history and background 

This spectacular military parade by the Household Division has its origins in two older military ceremonies – 'Trooping the Colour' and 'Mounting the King's Guard'. These date back to the early 18th century. 

What is Trooping the Colour? 

During Trooping the Colour, the King carries out a personal inspection of the troops. The 'colour' is the battalion flag that is 'trooped' – or carried – slowly down the ranks of soldiers. There was a very practical reason for ‘trooping’. The flags were used as rallying points in the heat of battle.  ‘Trooping’ meant that each soldier would recognise his battalion flag and rally to it. It could save lives.

Trooping the Colour was the first state ceremony to be held after the World War Two. It’s also known as the King's Birthday Parade. As the troops of the Household Division have the honour of guarding the monarch, the ceremony is particularly close to the Royal Family’s heart. However, the sovereign has only regularly taken the ceremonial salute in person since King Edward VII's reign. 

As the main ceremony draws to a close, the King leads the troops down The Mall to Buckingham Palace. He then makes the salute at the Palace. At the end of the ceremony, the King appears at the balcony of Buckingham Palace. 

When is Trooping the Colour?

Trooping the Colour is usually held at the start of June. In the two weeks leading up to the event, there are two rehearsals: The Major General's Review, held on the Saturday two weeks before, and The Colonel's Review, held on the Saturday before the parade.

Best places to watch Trooping the Colour 

You’ll get a good view of the procession along The Mall, or along the edge of St. James's Park, facing Horse Guards Parade. If you can’t join us in London, the ceremony is also shown live on terrestrial British television. 

There are also seated stands around Horse Guards Parade, with an excellent view of the main ceremony. Tickets for the seated stands around Horse Guards Parade are allocated by ballot by the Ministry of Defence. For more information, please visit the Trooping the Colour website.

Listen to our Trooping the Colour podcast here.