The Royal Family enjoy a Royal flypast for the Queen's Official Birthday (Pic: Army)
The Queen celebrates two birthdays each year: her actual birthday on 21 April and her official birthday on (usually) the second Saturday in June (which is tomorrow, and also World Gin Day, Hmmm)
Official celebrations to mark Sovereigns' birthday have often been held on a day other than the actual birthday, particularly when the actual birthday has not been in the summer. King Edward VII, for example, was born on 9 November, but his official birthday was marked throughout his reign in May or June when there was a greater likelihood of good weather for the Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour.
The Queen usually spends her actual birthday privately, but the occasion is marked publicly by gun salutes in central London at midday: a 41 gun salute in Hyde Park, a 21 gun salute in Windsor Great Park and a 62 gun salute at the Tower of London. In 2006, Her Majesty celebrated her 80th Birthday in 2006 with a walkabout in the streets outside of Windsor Castle to meet well-wishers.
On her official birthday, Her Majesty is joined by other members of the Royal Family at the spectacular Trooping the Colour parade which moves between Buckingham Palace, The Mall and Horseguards’ Parade as well as a public appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The Trooping of the Colour has marked the official birthday of the British Sovereign for over 260 years.
But what exactly happens?
Over 1400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together each June in a great display of military precision, horsemanship and fanfare to mark The Queen's official birthday.
The streets are lined with crowds waving flags as the parade moves from Buckingham Palace and down The Mall to Horse Guard's Parade, alongside Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages.
The display closes with an RAF fly-past, watched by Members of the Royal Family from Buckingham Palace balcony.
What happens during Trooping the Colour?
Once The Queen has arrived at Horse Guard's Parade in Whitehall, she is greeted by a Royal salute and carries out an inspection of the troops, who are fully trained and operational soldiers wearing the ceremonial uniform of red tunics and bearskin hats.
The Queen used to attend on horseback herself, but in recent years has travelled by carriage.
After the military bands have performed, the escorted Regimental Colour, or flag, is processed down the ranks of soldiers. Over one hundred words of command are used by the Officer in Command of the Parade to direct the several hundred soldiers.
Once the Foot Guards have marched past The Queen, she rides back to Buckingham Palace at the head of the soldiers, before taking the salute again at the Palace from a dais.
Her Majesty is then joined by other Members of the Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past by the Royal Air Force. A 41-gun salute is also fired in Green Park to mark the occasion.
How to watch Trooping the Colour
You can find full details on how you can watch the Trooping the Colour Parade, including how to apply for places in the seated stands at Horse Guard's Parade, on the Household Division's website.
What are the details
Members of the public wishing to watch are advised to stand on The Mall or on the edge of St James's Park overlooking Horse Guards (their view may be somewhat obscured by troops in this position) from 9.00am. The best public vantage points are indicated on the map with black dotted lines.
Events begin at approximately 10.00am, with the fly-past at 1.00pm.
The parade is also broadcast live on the BBC in the UK.
Tickets for seated stands around Horse Guards Parade are allocated by ballot. Up to a maximum of 3 tickets can be applied for Trooping the Colour. The Reviews have no restriction on the number of tickets applied for but they reserve the right to reduce numbers if demand exceeds supply.
Ticket prices are as follows for successful applicants: £35.00 each for Trooping the Colour; £10.00 each for The Colonel's Review and tickets are free of charge for The Major General's Review. Applications should be made in January or February only (any application other then the period stated will not be included in the ballot).