Most ordinary individuals have one birthday. However, Queen Elizabeth II, is not an ordinary individual. The Queen has two birthdays. She was born on April 21, 1926, which she observes with family and old friends. June is the month of the Queen’s State Birthday, which is called the Trooping of the Colour. Due to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations the ceremony this year was held on June 16, 2012.
To begin the ceremony the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery fires a 41 Gun salute in Green Park. This is followed by the Honorable Artilley Company at the Tower of London, firing off 60 rounds, one for each year the Queen has reigned.
After the firing ends, the Officer in Command of the Parade, gives out a 113 words of command. The parade route leads from Buckingham Palace, along the Mall, to the Horse Guards Parade at Whitehall. This year the queen was followed by carriage containing the HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Harry . Behind the two carriages riding on horseback came:
The Prince of Wales—Colonel of the Welsh Guards
The Duke of Cambridge—Colonel of the Irish Guards
The Duke of Kent—Colonel of the Scots Guards
The Princess Royal—Colonel of the Blues and Royals
The queen is accompanied by the Soverign’s Escort, formed of mounted troops of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Royal Mounted Band.
The Royal Procession arrives precisely as the clock on Horse Guards Building begins striking 11 A.M. The Queen wearing her Brigade of Guards brooch, takes the Royal Salute, The begins the Royal Inspection, the queen remains in her carriage, then slowly travels down the ranks of all eight Guards and then past the Household Cavalry.
Following the Royal Inspection, the Queen receives a march-pass from the three companies of the 1st Battalion, the Grenadier Guards. Then the Queen is escorted back to Buckingham Palace, by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. From outside the gates the Queen watches a further march pass. Following a second 41 gun salute by the King’s Troop in Green Park, she leads the Royal Family on to the palace balcony for a Royal Air Force flypast. This year 60 aircraft flew down the Mall in a diamond formation.
Prince Philip was unable to ride in the Trooping of the Colour. On Friday night he hosted a dinner at Buckingham Palace, acting in his role of the Colonel of the Grenadier Guards.