Traditional royal day-out gets an injection of young blue-blood
THE QUEEN has had a busy couple of months what with a royal wedding, the state visit of Barack Obama and her husband's 90th birthday, but the fun never stops for Her Majesty: this weekend it's her turn in the limelight when Trooping the Colour marks the monarch's official birthday.
Tickets for the main part of the event, when the Queen is greeted by phalanxes of ceremonially decked out soldiers on Horse Guards Parade, were snapped up months ago, but bag a spot on The Mall early enough and you'll still get a real eyeful of royal heritage.
The procession leaves Buckingham Palace onto The Mall at around 10.45am (Saturday, 11 June) and returns at about 12.30pm.
The extra buzz this year is that Prince William is set to ride a horse at the ceremony, a first for the newlywed at his mum's big day and he's likely to be kitted out in full-on red uniform and bearskin hat.
In between, for the Trooping the Colour at Horse Guards, ticketless royal fans are best advised to watch things on TV, which carries live footage of the morning's events.
Trooping the Colour started in the early 17th century: 'colour' refers to the regimental flags carried in front of the monarch, who combines the military extravaganza with her official birthday, one of the two birthdays enjoyed each year by the lucky sovereign.
HM's real birthday, as pub quiz types will know, is on 21 April.