Childhood Memories Friday: Trooping the Color

Queen Elizabeth II 1993 Trooping Colour

Recently, I saw photos online of the Royal Family at the annual Trooping the Color (or Colour, as they spell it in Britain) parade. It brought back memories, because once upon a time, in 1993 to be specific, I attended this event.

In case you didn’t know, Trooping the Color is held each year on a Saturday in June. It’s the official celebration of the Queen’s birthday, although her actual birthday is April 21. I knew about this event, and in 1993 when I was awarded a Lilly Teacher Creativity Fellowship, I planned to use the funds to travel to England and see various castles and royal sites. I hoped to see a few members of the royal family as well — specifically my favorite, Princess Diana.

I’ve Been to London to Visit the Queen

I planned my trip around the date for Trooping the Color, since I knew that most of the senior royals were usually in this parade. I walked across the London streets in plenty of time to find a viewing spot. I remember there was a big crowd lining the parade route, which traveled from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, and then back again.

And — I saw the Queen (top photo)!

And the Queen Mum and Princess Margaret (seen here)!

Queen Mum and Princess Margaret, 1993 Trooping the Color

At one point it started to rain. But being British, the parade participants were ready. The marching band musicians had capes that they wore.

Trooping the Color rain musicians 1993

My big disappointment was that after waiting and watching for Princess Diana — she never showed up! I heard from others in the crowd that she was at William and Harry’s sports day at school, and indeed I saw this mentioned later in the press. Wouldn’t you know??! I planned the whole trip around this event in the hopes of seeing her, but no dice. Oh well. I did see the Queen!

I stuck around while the Queen reviewed her troops, and then turned around and returned to the Palace the same way she’d come. The crowd was friendly, and the time passed quickly as I visited with the various people. Here she is going the other direction, with Prince Philip riding the horse behind her.

Trooping the Color 1993 queen

Once the parade ended, the whole crowd, it seemed, began following the parade down the street  (“The Mall”) to Buckingham Palace. I did the same, and I still remember the huge crush of people all walking along. I’m sure it’s even more extreme at an event like a royal wedding.

Buckingham Palace 1993

Here we all are, waiting for the royals to come out onto the balcony to view the crowds and a “fly past” of planes overhead. As you can see, my view wasn’t the greatest. But it was amazing to see the enthusiasm everyone had for the royal family. There was a lot of energy at the event, and I cherish my memories of seeing the Queen in London!




6 thoughts on “Childhood Memories Friday: Trooping the Color

  1. What an interesting post! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I’m sorry you didn’t get to see Diana, but glad you got to see some of the royals. It must have been exciting to be a part of an enthusiastic crowd like that. Thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

  2. Great memories for you! The pictures are really good. Thanks for sharing your memories and the pictures of a wonderful experience.

  3. Thanks for all of the memories! Having been to London several times myself (once with you), I really enjoyed all of your excellent pictures. Happy memories for both of us! As she often does, Queen Elizabeth was wearing blue in many of these pictures. She looks so pretty in blue, which happens to be my favorite color. At my age I am not very likely to get to go back to England again, but I will always treasure my visits there. Those Wagon Wheel Theater trips were always so fun!

  4. I am so glad you got to experience that trip. Your photos are proof you did indeed see the Queen! It is hard to believe that was 24 years ago! Your love for the royal family has not waned!

  5. That’s an amazing memory! I didn’t realize they held this parade. Always love to see the Queen’s dresses and hats — the colors are so vibrant. Thank you for sharing your pictures.

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