‘Trooping the Colour’: Meghan Markle Switches up the Seating Arrangements. What Does This Mean?
It’s the annual Trooping the Colour! A time for fanfare, parades, and royal appearances. The parade is a celebration of the Queen’s birthday. Though her birthday was actually over Easter weekend, the Trooping the Colour is how the United Kingdom has celebrated their rulers’ birthdays for over 260 years.
This year was Meghan Markle’s second Trouping the Colour and Prince Louis’ first. But outside of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s baby’s appearance at the event, something else has changed since last year. The seating arrangement.
What changed about the seating arrangement?
Last year was Markle’s first time at the event. During her debut, she and her husband, Prince Harry rode in their own carriage through the parade.
When William was younger, he used to also ride in a carriage through the parade. But now, both he and Prince Charles have to ride horses, wearing their full military regalia, as do Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
The Queen also used to ride a horse through the parade, but as she got older, she started to ride in a carriage.
This year, Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, joined Harry and Markle’s carriage.
The Duchess of Cambridge and Camilla rode facing forward while Meghan and Harry sat opposite them.
What is Trooping the Colour?
If you are new to following the Royals, then you may not know exactly what Trooping the Colour is. It’s a military parade that goes back to the 17th century.
In the parade, over 1,4000 soldiers, 200 horses, and 400 musicians come together to walk through the streets. It is one of the largest military showcases in the world.
The guards who participate in the parade are from the Household Division, which is one of the oldest sections of the British Army. These guards are essentially the Queen’s personal bodyguards or troops. They have been a part of the army since 1660 when the English Civil War ended.
What are the colours?
Trooping the Colours might sound like a funny term, but the colours are essentially just the flags that represent the different sections of the British Army.
These flags differ so that soldiers can quickly identify their unit during battle. To train soldiers to know which color represented their regimen, officers would march in front of the troops, waving their flags.
Are all of the flags trooped?
Trooping all of the flags would take much too long so each year at Trooping the Colour, a different sector of the army’s flags are trooped.
What happens during the celebration?
The parade begins when the Queen leaves Buckingham Palace in her carriage. Up until 1987, she used to ride side-saddled on a horse, dressed in the colors that were being trooped. After 1987, she opted to ride in a carriage.
After leaving Buckingham Palace, she will ride down the mall towards Horse Guards Parade at Whitehall. Once there, she will be greeted by the soldiers and inspect the troops.
After that, the colours will be carried down and shown to the soldiers. The Queen will then lead the troops back to Buckingham Palace for another salute.
At the conclusion of the parade, the Queen is joined by the other members of the royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.