My 1st Trooping the Colour Experience

Red Arrows over Buckingham Palace at this year's Trooping the Colour © The Lady & the Rose

Red Arrows over Buckingham Palace at this year’s Trooping the Colour © The Lady & the Rose

This year was my first Trooping the Colour (TTC) experience. Although I had discussed where would be the best place to watch with fellow royal tweeters, there’s always something new we learn after the whole experience. So here are some tips in case you’re thinking of attending in the future!

What time should I arrive?

I arrived at 8am and there were still plenty of empty spaces to sit or stand. 7-7:30am is the best time to arrive if you want prime spots! (Maybe even 6-6:30am for the best spots?) The first ‘rows’ lining the barricade were already full by the time it was 9:30am.

Where should I stand?

When I first arrived, I was right by the barricade and I stood in front of Clarence House. The corners had already been taken as they were the best spot to see 1) Prince Charles and Camilla leave by car and 2) the carriages and guards pass by. Unfortunately, I surrendered my spot when I went to find another royal tweeter. We stood in front of Lancaster House, just a cross from Clarence House.

Next year, I’m hoping to stand where royal tweeter @houseoflemon stood – on Constitution Hill with Canada Gate on the right hand side. Do check out his photos which he so kindly shared on Twitter!

If you’d like to be part of the crowd that gets to go down The Mall and surround the Victoria Memorial, you can watch from near the Admiralty Arch.

What should I bring?

  • A foldable/packable stool in case you’re at the front of the barricades. There’s a lot of waiting and standing can be very tiring.
  • Snacks! Hopefully you’ll have had a full breakfast (I did not) because the next time you’ll be having a full meal is after 1-1:15pm. I brought biscuits and cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes were quite popular amongst fellow royal watchers! 😉
  • *Don’t* bring a beverage that will make you want to pee! The portables were mainly in Green Park but I’m not sure if this was just for this year with the Patron’s Lunch on Sunday.
  • *Don’t* wear a large obnoxious view-blocking hat.
  • A good camera. Depending on your phone camera, the quality is only so good (mine are blurry, as you can see) compared to DSLR’s.

Carriage Procession on The Mall or TTC at Horseguards Parade?

There are 2 public rehearsals before TTC. The first (the Major General’s Review), held two weeks before TTC is free; the second (the Colonel’s Review), held one week before TTC, is £10. TTC is £30 per person. Tickets for all three must be applied by ballot. Another option is to go through your High Commission (if you’re a Commonwealth citizen) to enter by ballot there. (Now I can’t decide if I want to go to a rehearsal next year or see the procession!)

My favourite photo that I took from Trooping the Colour:

A photo posted by V (@ladyandtherose) on

Identifying the Household Division / Guards

The following photos are from the Freedom of the City of London Parade, which I attended on Wednesday, 20th April, 2016, with the exception of a select few taken from Trooping the Colour 2016 and the

King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery

You’ll recognise the mounted troop with six WWI-era 13-pounder field guns. Usually seen at Green Park for royal gun salutes.

The Queen’s Life Guard (wearing red, white horsehair)

They wear red tunics and their helmets have white plumes.

A photo posted by V (@ladyandtherose) on

The Blues & Royals

They were dark blue (almost black) tunics with red plumes in their helmets.

Irish Guards

You can differentiate the Irish Guards from the other guards by the St Patrick’s blue plume in the bearskin. The Colonel of the Regiment is Prince William, pictured below:

Prince William at TTC 2016 © The Lady & the Rose

Prince William at TTC 2016 © The Lady & the Rose

Welsh Guards

These guards have a white-green-white plume in their bearskin. The Colonel is The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles)

Prince Charles on the far right with the white-green-white plume

Prince Charles on the far right with the white-green-white plume © The Lady & the Rose

Not pictured:

  • Grenadier Guards (with white plumes)
  • Scots Guards (plain black bearskin)
  • Coldstream Guards (with red plumes)

Band of the Household Cavalry

These ‘golden’ musicians wear a blue jockey cap and gold state coat.

Band of the Household Cavalry

Now that you’ve come to the end of my post, I would like to share an infographic of 90 years of British innovation from one of my readers from Wayfair.co.uk! Thank you for sharing this, Jo!

90 Years of Home Design | Wayfair UK