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Trooping the Colour,ritual.

It’s not often you get invited to the queen’s birthday party, but anyone popping round London this weekend will be on the guest list.

On Saturday, the beloved monarch will appear in public for the official state celebration of her birthday, though it actually fell two months earlier on April 21, when she turned 80. So why the two celebrations? Well, she is the queen. …

The celebration of the royal ruler’s birthday in June, no matter when it actually falls during the year, is a long-held tradition in England. It started in the early 18th century to allow the sovereign a public appearance when the weather is good.

The ceremony, performed by the Household Division, is called Trooping the Colour, which translates as marching (trooping) a regimental flag (the colour) past the monarch and the troops.

In the modern version of the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth inspects the spit-and-polish Household troops, views the formal salute and ceremony and then heads home in a gilded coach, waving to the public.

Got a question about something you’ve seen or heard around the United Kingdom? E-mail us at: uknews@mail.estripes.osd.mil

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