Trooping the Colour Rules All Members of the Royal Family Must Follow

Queen Elizabeth will celebrate her 93rd birthday for the second time this year tomorrow at Trooping the Colour. Yes, that’s right, the queen gets two birthdays. Why? Because she’s the monarch! And also because, like everything in the royal family, the tradition dates back hundreds of years and after 93 years of following royal family traditions, she’s not about to break the rules now.

Speaking of rules, Trooping the Colour has some important protocol that all members of the royal family must follow. Take a looking at the Trooping the Colour rules, ahead.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Trooping the Colour
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Trooping the Colour | NIKLAS HALLEN/AFP/Getty Images

Trooping the Colour rules

Tomorrow, Queen Elizabeth and her most prominent family members will join together in a public birthday bash complete with a military parade, Buckingham Palace balcony photo opp, and hopefully Prince George getting shushed by his cousin, Savannah Phillips again.

According to Express, the festivities are “one of the most esteemed military displays in the world,” and include a parade of royals, soldiers, musicians, and horses — because how else do you celebrate the queen’s birthday?  

In all seriousness, Trooping the Colour is a highly respected tradition that dates back to the 1700s and includes many of the monarchy’s best royal rules. Here is the protocol all members of the royal family must follow at this weekend’s celebrations.

Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

No ring, no bring

In true royal fashion, boyfriends and girlfriends are not invited to Trooping the Colour. The royal family follows strict “no ring, no bring” protocol for events like this, which is why last year’s event was Meghan Markle’s first Trooping the Colour experience.

Speaking of first Trooping the Colour experiences, Princess Eugenie’s new husband, Jack Brooksbank might make the cut this year. As a married member of the royal family, he is now officially allowed on the guest list.

Party hats are a must

Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles
Kate Middleton and Camilla Parker Bowles | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

No, we don’t mean the cone-shaped party hats — although that would be a hilarious sight to see. Since Trooping the Colour is a formal daytime event, all women must wear their finest hats or fascinators.

Men in uniform

In addition to the ladies’ dress code, royal men with military affiliation must wear their uniforms for the event — after all, it is a military parade.

No babies allowed

Trooping the Colour
Trooping the Colour | Xinhua/Tim Ireland via Getty Images

Unlike other royal engagements, royal children are invited to participate at Trooping the Colour. However, the babies are usually left at home. Last year, Prince William and Kate Middleton left their son, Prince Louis (who was only a few months old at the time) at home. And, this year, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will do the same with their son, Archie.

Prince Louis is expected to make his Trooping the Colour debut this year and, it’s possible, that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex might bring their son along for next year’s festivities.

Stand in order

Following the Trooping the Colour parade, the royal family gathers together for a photo opp and Royal Air Force flypast on the Buckingham Palace. However, they can’t just stand anywhere. Like every ceremonial event, members of the royal family stand according to their place in the line of succession, which is why Prince William and Kate Middleton are usually in front of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.


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