Every year, the Queen celebrates her birthday in early June. Although her real birthday is April 21, this celebration is known as Trooping the Colour and has been an annual ceremony for over 250 years. The tradition dates all the way back to King George II, who in 1748 combined the annual summer military march with his birthday celebration—even though he was born in October. Ever since, the reigning monarch has had the option of throwing their official birthday parade in the summertime.
In honor of this year's Trooping the Colour celebration (and the Queen's 96th birthday), we're taking a look back at all the ceremonies over the past two centuries.
The 2022 Trooping the Colour Ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 2.
The ceremony looked a bit different in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of the usual format, it was held at Windsor Castle without any crowds.
The Red Arrows took to the skies over Windsor Castle to mark the important day.
The band marched through the George IV Gateway at Windsor Castle.
The event in 2020, held at Windsor Castle, was socially distanced and scaled down.
Queen Elizabeth watched the private parade from afar.
Camilla and the Duchess of Cambridge chat in the carriage as they arrive ahead of the ceremony.
Meghan and Harry arrive at the parade via carriage.
The royal family during the flyover.
Princess Charlotte took a tumble on the balcony, but her mom Kate was right there to comfort her.
Savannah Phillips stole the show when she told her cousin George to be quiet.
The Queen arriving at her birthday celebration!
Some of the Queen's children arriving on horseback during the parade.
Meghan Markle making her Trooping the Colour debut.
The whole royal family up on the balcony.
Two guards on horseback.
The Cambridges, back when they were just a family of four.
Princess Charlotte taking a sneak peek before the ceremonies begin.
The Queen waving to the crowd.
The whole scene.
Where's the Queen? She often wears vibrant colors so people can see her from quite far away.
Queen Elizabeth opted for a lime green suit for her 90th birthday.
A member of the Queen's Guard collapses during the ceremony.
Prince George points out something interesting to his father.
The parade getting started.
Spitfires of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight fly over the ceremony.
The ceremony concluded with a 41-gun salute, fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.
The Queen looked radiant in yellow from atop the palace's balcony.
More than 1,000 solders and horses take part in the festivities.
The entire royal family waves at onlookers.