To celebrate the Queen's official birthday, hundreds of military officers, horses and musicians from the Household Division, take part in The Trooping the Colour Ceremony, which has taken place in London for over two centuries.
The Queen herself attends the ceremony. She is first escorted in a carriage from Buckingham Palace to Horses Guards Parade. There, she carries out an inspection of her troops, before leading her Guards in a parade back down The Mall to Buckingham Palace. Once at the palace, the Queen takes the salute, and guns are fired in Green Park and at the Tower of London. Finally she joins other members of the Royal Family on the palace balcony to watch the Royal Air Force fly past.
Events begin around 10.00am and the RAF fly past takes place at 1.00pm.
History of Trooping the Colour
After existing in various forms since the 17th century, the Trooping the Colour ceremony has been held every year in London to mark the sovereign's official birthday since the accession of King George IV in 1820, except during world wars and a national strike in 1955.
Although the sovereign's official birthday is celebrated in June, Queen Elizabeth II's actual birthday is on 21 April. Monarchs are traditionally given a second birthday if they were not born in the summer, in case the British weather is unsuitable for an outdoor event.
Watching the Trooping the Colour Parade
If you do not have tickets for the actual Trooping the Colour ceremony on Horse Guards Parade, you can join the crowds of spectators along The Mall or on the edge of St James's Park overlooking Horse Guards Parade from 9.00am to catch all the action.