are 'The Colours'?
Presentation of The Colour
A Grenadier Colour
featuring the names of past battles
The Colours carry upon
them all the battle honours of the Regiment and as such have
major significance for each and every soldier in that Regiment.
In days of old they were hung outside the Battalion
or Regimental headquarters after a good day's battle! This identified
their headquarters. Companies
also have colours so in the fog of war, if a soldier was lost,
they knew where the rest of his Regiment was, and also where
the Company was to report to!
The Regimental Colour really is the embodiment of
a Regiment so they are not only a locating symbol, though hardly
used for this purpose in these days, but also record the proud
and costly history of each Regiment. As such they are guarded
and escorted with unbelievable zest.
The Colours in
Procession during The State Visit of Thabo Mbeki, President of
South Africa, June 2001
In Jubilee Year, 2002,
on Friday, 26th April, The Queen presented The
Scots Guards with New Colours at Windsor Castle. During such presentation ceremonies,
two Colours can be presented. The Queen's Colours, which is only
carried by the Regiment when the Queen is in residence or on
parade, and the Battalion or Regimental Colour.
The Massed Bands
on Horse Guards Parade during Trooping The Colour
Every year in June Her
Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is present on Horse Guards Parade
in London for 'Trooping the Colour', a Review based upon the
ceremony used for Guard mounting in the 18th Century. The first
such event took place in the reign of George III. The Colours
are 'Trooped' through the ranks during the Queen's Birthday Parade
so that all new guardsmen can identify them and acknowledge what
standards they have to live up to!
Trooping the Colour.
Horseguards Parade, London. June 14th 1980
Normally taking place on
the Sovereign's birthday, the Foot Guards performed this same
ceremonial parade throughout Victoria's reign on May 24th, her
birthday, although the queen was present at the parade only once,
when 76 in May 1895.
For more information
the Colour Click Here
King Edward VII, George V and George VI were all
very keen on attending the parade.
In the reign of Elizabeth II the parade has taken
place in June, normally in the middle of the month on a Saturday,
in celebration of the Queen's Official Birthday, the official
date of which is the first Monday in June. The Queen's actual
birthday is April 21st but as the weather may be less kind at
that time of year, Trooping The Colour has become a June event!
For information about identifying different regiments
With thanks to
Jim White for his valued help and information
The Queen's Jubilee Celebrations, 2002
For an idea of the stunning visual
feast to expect, check these earlier State events in Windsor
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