Trooping the Colour is one of the best free events in London. But did you know that they hold a big rehearsal one week before, called the Colonel's Review? (Another rehearsal, called the Major General's Review, is held two weeks before).
The Colonel's Review still includes a parade of foot soldiers, mounted soldiers and marching bands, but you don't see the Queen or the RAF flypast. Prince Andrew has been lined up to review the parade instead. The upside is that it's far less crowded than the real thing, so if you want to take your little kids to see some soldiers then this is perfect. The crowds at Trooping the Colour are ten or twenty deep, and you will be wedged inside for a few hours waiting for something to happen -- you don't get that with the Colonel's Review.
You'll be able to watch the soldiers marching along The Mall and up to Horse Guards parade ground for free, but if you want to sit inside Horse Guards itself then you will need to apply for a ticket. See qbp.army.mod.uk for more details about how to apply.
Craig has never been to the Colonel's Review itself, but he has been to the real thing a few times. You might like to read his review of Trooping the Colour before you go to get an idea what it's like. He filmed a video from The Mall as well, so you can see the kind of soldiers and military bands that march past.
You might like to check out our page of military parades in London as well, because there are plenty of gun salutes and daily parades throughout the year.
Guest – “I bought tickets to the Colonels review for 2nd June. Bought them back in January. Went to print them out last night but couldn't print. I have a receipt and booking reference. Would I be allowed in on that?”
Admin – “eTickets are okay for most places, but you really need to ask them. They’re the only ones who can tell you for certain https://qbp.army.mod.uk/colonelsreview/”
> Craig’s review of Horse Guards – “When people talk about Horse Guards they usually think of the gravel parade ground where the military bands do Beating Retreat, but the best part is actually the small courtyard that faces onto Whitehall. That's where you'll find all the horses and foot soldiers. Everyone loves a horse. Especially when it's got a soldier on top. If you put a soldier with a shiny swor… continued”
Major General’s Review, at Horse Guards – 25 May 2019 – Two weeks before they celebrate the Queen's birthday at Trooping the Colour, they hold the Major General's Review.
Beating Retreat, on Horse Guards Parade – 5 to 6 Jun 2019 – Beating Retreat is a floodlit pageant of military music and drill on Horse Guards Parade, ending with a salute to the Queen.
Trooping the Colour, at Horse Guards – 8 Jun 2019 – Watch a parade of soldiers and bands marching down The Mall in 'Trooping the Colour', to celebrate the Queen's birthday.
41-gun salute to mark the Queen’s 93rd birthday – 22 Apr 2019 – You can hear the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fire a 41-gun salute in Hyde Park to mark the Queen's 93rd birthday.
Hear a 62-gun salute at the Tower of London – 22 Apr 2019 – The HAC will be firing a 62-gun salute at Gun Wharf by the Tower of London, to mark Her Majesty the Queen's 93rd birthday.
62-gun salute to mark the Queen’s Coronation – 3 Jun 2019 – The HAC will be firing a 62-gun salute by the Tower of London, to mark the anniversary of the Queen's Coronation in 1953.
41-gun salute, to mark the Queen’s Coronation – 3 Jun 2019 – The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will be firing a 41-gun salute to mark the 66th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation.
Check out our guide to all the daily parades in London
Here are some more free events in London if you want a cheap day out
If you enjoy Horse Guards then you might like to visit Downing Street (you can walk it in less than 3 mins), Parliament Square (you can walk it in 6 mins) and St. James’s Park (you can walk it in 6 mins)
|Military events in April|
|Military events in May|
|Military events in June|