Trooping the Colour 2024: Everything to know about King Charles' birthday parade

King Charles and Queen Camilla at Trooping the Colour 2023 and parade
This year's Trooping the Colour takes place on 15 June (Getty)

The King's birthday parade – known as Trooping the Colour – is a ceremonial event in London, which sees the royals gather for a spectacular military parade.

Buckingham Palace confirmed that Charles, 75, will participate in the procession, but amid his ongoing cancer treatment, he will ride in a carriage rather than on horseback.

Since 1748, the parade has marked the sovereign's official birthday, despite Charles' actual birthday falling on 14 November.


In 2023, the King took part in his birthday parade of his reign, becoming the first monarch to ride on horseback since Queen Elizabeth II last did in 1986.

Here's everything you need to know about Trooping the Colour 2024, which royals are involved and how you can watch.

When is Trooping the Colour and what time does it start?

This year's parade takes place on Saturday 15 June, starting from 10am until 12.25, with the flypast scheduled for 1pm.

What happens at Trooping the Colour?

It will see over 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark the Sovereign's official birthday.

Soldiers on Horse Guards Parade at Trooping the Colour
The soldiers on review on Horse Guards Parade (Getty)

The ceremony dates back to the early eighteenth century or earlier, when the colours (flags) of the battalion were carried (or 'trooped') down the ranks so that they could be seen and recognised by the soldiers.

The procession starts at Buckingham Palace and travels down The Mall to Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall. King Charles will inspect the soldiers and give a salute from his carriage, before leading the troops in a parade back to Buckingham Palace.

The Red Arrows display at Trooping the Colour
The event ends with a spectacular flypast (Getty)

The event ends with the royal family watching the Royal Air Force flypast from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

Where to watch

While tickets for the seated stands to watch the ceremony on Horse Guards Parade have already been allocated, you can catch a glimpse of the procession with the crowds on the edge of St James's Park or along The Mall.

Trooping the Colour 2022, Horse Guards
Tickets have already sold out for the seated stand, but you can join the crowds along The Mall (Getty)

Alternatively, you can watch the parade live on television across the BBC.

Which royals will attend?

While the King and Queen will be in attendance, the palace is yet to confirm which members of the royal family will take part this year.

It is not known whether the Princess of Wales, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment, will be in attendance and whether Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will participate at this stage.

Since the start of Charles' reign, only senior working royals have participated in Trooping the Colour and appeared on the balcony. During Queen Elizabeth II's reign, she would often invite extended members of her family.

King Charles and Queen Camilla with Prince William, Kate and their three children in their first Trooping the Colour since the coronation
Only senior working royals appeared on the balcony in 2023 (Getty)

Last year, the King was joined on horseback by the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Princess of Wales and Queen Camilla were joined in their carriage by Prince William and Kate's three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis ride in a horse-drawn carriage with Princess Kate and Queen Camilla at Trooping the Colour
Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis rode in a horse-drawn carriage with Princess Kate and Queen Camilla at Trooping the Colour 2023 (Getty)

The Duchess of Edinburgh and Princess Anne's husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, also took part in the procession, riding in a separate carriage.

Dress code

Typically, male members of the royal family are dressed in military uniform, while ladies wear day dress and a hat.

Kate Middleton
Kate looked beautiful in green last year to symbolise her role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Irish Guards (Getty)

Meanwhile, if you've been lucky to bag a ticket for the ceremony, the Household Division website states the dress code as: "Morning dress or lounge suit for gentlemen, equivalent for ladies (strictly no denim, shorts or sandals). Serving Military personnel may wear Ceremonial Day uniform (with medals, without swords or sidearms) or equivalent."

Trooping the Colour rehearsal

The Colonel's Review at Horse Guards Parade took place on 8 June, the week before Trooping the Colour.

The Princess of Wales missed the ceremony amid her ongoing cancer treatment but wrote a heartfelt apology letter to the Irish Guards.

Kate, 42, who is colonel of the regiment, spoke of her pride in them and added that being colonel "remains an honour".

The Colonel's Review
Soldiers and their horses during The Colonel's Review for Trooping the Colour (Getty)

The letter said: "I wanted to write to you to let you know how proud I am of the entire regiment ahead of the Colonel's Review and Trooping the Colour.

"I appreciate everyone trooping the colour this year has been practising for months, and dedicating many hours to ensuring their uniforms and drill are immaculate.

"Being your colonel remains an honour, and I am very sorry that I’m unable to take the salute at this year's Colonel's Review."

Lieutenant General James Bucknall, KCB, CBE, carried out the role of Inspecting Officer on behalf of the Princess.