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Trooping the Colour: When it starts, flypast route and outline of the day

The King's official birthday celebrations will take place on Saturday 17 June 2023

King Charles III, accompanied by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, presents the new Sovereign's Standard to The Blues and Royals during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 15, 2023
Megan Bull
TV Writer
16 June 2023
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Trooping the Colour will commence on Saturday 17 June 2023 and it's set to be a milestone occasion for King Charles III. The first ever Trooping the Colour of his reign, each year the ceremony marks The Sovereign's official birthday. An unmissable event, royal fans will be able to watch it live around the world. Keep reading to find out when it starts and how to watch it in both the UK and the US.  

WATCH: Camilla, Kate, Charlotte, George and Louis arrive for Trooping the Colour in 2022

What time does Trooping the Colour start? 

This year, Trooping the Colour will begin at approximately 10am, while the flypast commences at 1pm. 

MORE: The Duke of Edinburgh to make royal first at Trooping the Colour

READ: The surprising coincidence between Meghan Markle and King Charles ahead of Trooping the Colour that you won't believe

How long is the flypast?

The flypast is estimated to last for 15 minutes. It will be an extended military flypast after the display during the King's coronation had to be scaled down due to bad weather. 

Around 70 aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force will participate. 

How can I watch Trooping the Colour in the UK? 

Live coverage of the event will be broadcast from 10:30am on BBC One. It will finish at 1:10pm GMT. Anyone looking to catch up with Trooping the Colour can do so on BBC iPlayer. 

Soldiers walking in the Trooping the Colour parade. © Getty
Trooping the Colour will be broadcast live from 10:30am on BBC One

How can I watch Trooping the Colour in the US?

For fans who are not UK based, the best way to watch the Trooping of the Colour is online through a live stream on YouTube. In 2022, when Trooping the Colour took place during Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations, many news outlets streamed live coverage of the parade online for those around the world to enjoy.

In the UK, the coverage will air across BBC One and BBC iPlayer. If you have access to a secure VPN, then you'll be able to watch on the channel from overseas. Those watching the US can tune in from 5am EST and 2am PT.

What is Trooping the Colour?

In an impressive display of pageantry, over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together for the annual ceremony which moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade. After reaching Whitehall, the soldiers will then turn back again. 

Soldier performing during a rehearsal of Trooping the Colour© Sgt Donald C Todd
This year's Trooping the Colour will the first King's Birthday Parade in 70 years

During the ceremony, King Charles will be greeted by a Royal salute before carrying out an inspection of the troops, as well as numerous other military traditions. Once these are completed, Charles will travel back to Buckingham Palace at the head of his Guards, before taking the salute at the Palace from a dais. The troops then return to barracks. 

The Earl and Countess of Wessex at Trooping the Colour 2022© Getty
Following the parade, working royals will then watch the fly-past from the balcony at Buckingham Palace

Following the parade, the royals traditionally gather on the Buckingham Palace balcony to watch the flypast by the Royal Air Force. Members of His Majesty's family will attend, including his siblings, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, and their respective spouses, as well as the late Queen Elizabeth II's cousins, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

In recent years, we've seen Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, make their debuts at the event, alongside their cousins, Savannah and Isla Phillips.

When was the first Trooping the Colour ceremony?

The first Trooping the Colour ceremony is believed to have originated during the reign of King Charles II from 1660 to 1685. However, it wasn't until 1748 that it was decided that this parade would be used to mark the official birthday of the sovereign and it became an annual event after George III became King in 1760.

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