Trooping of the Colour
Saturday 17th June 2017
The Queen's birthday
Not strictly a livery event but certainly a highlight of the year, the privilege of attending the Trooping of the Colour was a memorable experience. The Learned Clerk had offered the Mistress and me a pair excellent seats overlooking Horseguards Parade.
Over 1400 officers and men are on parade, together with two hundred horses; over four hundred musicians from ten bands and corps of drums march and play as one. This year was the turn of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards to troop their colour. The BBC weather lady said it would be hot and, as we were processed through very tight security, spectators looked for shade to rest before taking their seats in the stands. We were advised to dress formally but I chose a dark blue suit instead of my morning coat. A wise choice. Many years ago, I had hired a morning coat from Moss Bros for a wedding and the coat produced the aroma of the previous incumbent who had probably expired on the Epsom Downs during Derby Day.
Despite the heat, the choreography of the parade was perfect and the music was outstanding. It would not have been easy for the leading members of the Royal Family who were participating in the relentless sun. A highlight of the event was the gun carriages being pulled across the parade ground at a canter, kicking up dust in the sweltering heat. See the photo. While Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh made their way back to Buckingham Palace along The Mall, a fleet of street cleaning vehicles followed, collecting fresh manure for HM’s rose garden. Behind the cleaning vehicles, a cavalry of mounted police swiftly undid the work of the street cleaners while keeping the ensuing crowds a safe distance behind as they tiptoed through fresh manure in high heels and Church’s. I never thought I would find myself in this situation but I was cheering in front of the Royal balcony while snapping shots of the flypast.
A wonderful day out. Thank you, Sandra.