Huw Edwards introduces live coverage of this world-renowned military parade to mark the official ninetieth birthday of HM the Queen.
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Every year on a Saturday morning in June, the sovereign's official
birthday is celebrated in great style with the ceremony
This year, there's an added dimension, because this is the year
And the honour of Trooping the Colour in 2016 falls
So, stand by for a thrilling display at the Queen's Birthday Parade.
A very good morning, on this exceptional weekend of celebration.
This is where we'll be following all the pageantry,
the marching and the music of the Queen's Birthday
Parade ? in this year of Her Majesty's 90th birthday.
We are just a stone's throw from The Mall ? the grand
processional route starts at Buckingham Palace ?
where the Royal Standard is flying, signalling the Queen's presence -
and then leads to the vast expanse of Horse Guards Parade,
which is the world-famous stage for today's birthday parade.
There will be as many as 1200 personnel involved
Some of them, including the musicians, are already
on their way after weeks of preparation for one
of the finest military parades anywhere in the world,
when the Sovereign's birthday will be honoured with the custom
And the honour this year falls to the Coldstream Guards.
We'll be keeping a close eye on everything that takes place
on Horse Guards Parade, and if there's anyone working
in the Foreign Office today on the south side
of the Parade Ground, they'll have a great view,
as will the residents of No 10 Downing Street.
And talking of a great view, some of the best seats
are on the roof of the Citadel building ? the fortress built
Normally, we'd be following the parade from the commentary
box in the stands, but this is no normal year.
So, from our studio here in St James's Park,
we'll be enjoying all the day's events, culminating in a spectacular
birthday fly-past at 1 o'clock, watched by the Queen and members
of the Royal Family from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
This is a celebration of Her Majesty's official birthday.
The Queen's actual birthday was on the 21st of April ? marked
Yesterday, there was a national service of thanksgiving
at St Paul's Cathedral, attended by dozens of members
of the Royal Family, but it was a notable day
for the Duke of Edinburgh, who was celebrating his 95th
And tomorrow ? on the third day of this official birthday
celebration ? there will be thousands of people on The Mall
enjoying a giant street party, with picnics and entertainment,
recognising the valuable work of the many charities which enjoy
Our focus today is on the birthday tribute being presented
The preparations began very early this morning, and Clare Balding
is at Wellington Barracks with the King's Troop
This is the hooking up process where they attach the teams of six horses.
Lee Wheeler 's act as the breaks, strong and chunky animals. As you go
forward the horses get more refined, all with the manes making them look
sleek. In terms of that attitude, these are dependable horses. And you
needed to. Six guns, all of them saw service in World War I. They are 13
pounders, and they have been polished up to the nines. If I
needed a mirror to check my make-up, I can see my reflection in them. The
King's Troop celebrated its 300th anniversary this year and the Queen
paid a visit to their base at Larkhill to honour that. This
afternoon they will do their bit to pay tribute to the Queen's 90th
birthday. Our very own tradition on the day
of the Birthday Parade is to invite a guest to join us with direct
experience of the parade. This year I'm delighted to welcome
Brigadier Greville Bibby, who retired last year after 34 years
in the army. He is ? among many other
distinctions ? a former commanding officer of the 1st
Battalion Coldstream Guards. A warm welcome, great to have you
with us today. Delighted to be here, one of my favourite days of the
year. Can't think of a better setting than the middle of St
James's Park. It's very cool. I'm looking forward to a great parade.
It's a massive day. The Queen's 64th parade, her 19thth year. The
Coldstream Guards Trooping the Colour for her on one of the biggest
days I can remember. You have direct experience of the parade, and here
is the proof, 33 is ago, playing a central role in 1983. I'm clearly a
bit slimmer. Standing alongside the regimental Sergeant Major and as he
handed me the Colour he said, don't drop it, there are 10 million people
watching. Just the encouragement I needed! I wanted to join the Army as
long as I could remember. I had a bearskin and tunic from the age of
four. I followed my father and grandfather into the regiment and
here I was at 20, 21, Trooping the Colour in front of Her Majesty. Your
pride is still evident today, 30 odd years later. Let's talk of the
regimental pride for the Coldstream Guards. What does it mean for them
today? A lots of men and women on parade today, but a lot from the
Coldstream, probably the biggest guard I can remember. They were
presented the Colour in 2012 and they now have the chance to show it
off to her. What better birthday present could somebody want? I'm
looking forward to chatting to you through the day and you can give
your expert analysis as we go on. We can look at Horse Guards Parade now.
So, a period of relative calm on Horse Guards,
before the Parade Ground is filled with the sounds of marching
and music, which really are the hallmarks of
Some of the talented musicians of the Household Division
We have the bands of the Welsh Guards and the Scots Guards.
They are soon to be joined by their colleagues from the Irish,
Looking on from the public stands, eagerly anticipating,
Looking on from the public stands, eagerly anticipating
the ceremony is a crowd of more than 7000 people ? including
Not long to go before the Queen and other members of the Royal
Family will leave Buckingham Palace, heading for Horse Guards Parade.
And later, there will be the traditional balcony appearance ?
one of the favourite moments of the day ? where we see different
generations of the Royal Family greeting the crowd.
All eyes will be focused on the skies above St James's Park
for the first sighting of the magnificent 90th birthday
fly-past being staged by the Royal Air Force.
It will be one of the best for many years.
On The Mall, proudly making their way from Wellington Barracks,
this year's escort ? provided this year by No 7 Company,
Coldstream Guards, the oldest regiment in continuous service
in the British army, and one of seven regiments forming
They are very much Her Majesty's personal troops.
The motto of the Coldstream Guards is "Nulli Secundus"
The guardsmen can be identified by the red plume in their bearskins
- worn on the right side ? and their tunic buttons
The last time No 7 Company trooped their Colour was in 2007.
But 2012 was also a Coldstream year when the honour went to the 1st
Just a time to say something about the transition between operational
duty and ceremonial duty. 2012 was the last time the battalion was on
ceremonial duty. They have been on operations for the last four years,
going to Afghanistan, Romania, Kenya, Belize. It's only in the last
few months that they have reenroll into ceremonial duty. It's not that
big a challenge, every guardsmen going through training is taught his
drill. Extra drill for guardsmen going through training. It's a case
of the senior guardsmen, senior non-commissioned officers hanging on
that experience and memory. This year the troops lining The Mall
and adjoining routes are provided by the 1st Battalion Irish Guards,
under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Alex Turner ?
who was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for
service in Afghanistan. They are lining the streets
conscientiously today. We'll be staying on air until just
after 1 o'clock to provide live coverage of the parade,
the balcony appearance, And there's continuous, unedited
coverage for you on the red button. And if you'd like to be involved,
we'd love to hear from you. Send us your messages
for the Armed Forces on this special day, or if you're holding
a celebration to mark Simply get in touch with our BBC
news feeds on Facebook and Twitter And if we have time after the
parade, I will try to use some comments as part of the discussion.
And as the Escort makes its way towards the Parade Ground,
it's worth underlining that many of its members are new recruits.
It really is a high-profile way to start life in the regiment.
We joined them a few months ago as they arrived
at Wellington Barracks for the start of their time in No 7 Company.
The Guardsmen that have just arrived have just finished their phase two
training in Catterick and today we'll get them kitted out
I'm the senior master tailor for London district,
so I'm the guy who measures them up for their tunic,
their tweeds and their greycoat and then we'll send them off
to the storeman to get them into the sizes that I've
This'll probably last him for about a season.
We change the greycoat in October and by the time he comes back
for tunics, this probably won't fit him and they would have
all changed body shape because they're all young lads.
So, this is probably the only season he'll have with this tunic.
Then I went through the Army Foundation College in Harrogate.
It is tough but it builds you up to be the best,
especially joining the Coldstream Guards.
I've looked through them all and I can't seem to find
Nothing really fits my head at the moment.
How does that feel?
Not too tight? No.
It's important that it's not too tight because otherwise we'll be
As you see here, it's looking a bit like ragtails because it's
So, get into the shower, wash it like you would your hair.
Wash some mild shampoo into it, which gives it a real clean
I feel happy now. Now I've got one, finally.
We're down at Pirbright to continue another day's troop training.
Given that the Sergeant Major's here today, he'll be making sure
that we've got our column distance between guards correct and we're
There are five members of the escort that are still under 18.
That's why it's on the back of your head.
Coming straight from school was a bit of a shock.
Training was definitely the hardest thing I've done.
The hardest thing to master is probably the forms
People are pushing down, pushing on you and people
get popped out of line, which knocks the whole line out.
And also if you go past the saluting line, Her Majesty
Because I'm the far left marker, I'm marking time for absolutely ages.
I'm standing on the front row, front left, so it's
It's my job to make sure that they're picking up on all the finest
of details so that by the time of the parade, there'll
Trooping the Colour is probably the toughest thing I've done so far.
Getting things right without being pointed out
I don't think there's going to be many more monarchs that
have a 90th Birthday Parade, so you've got grab it and it'll be
So, a memorable few months for those new recruits.
Some of them, including Guardsmen Orton, Brayley
and Cunningham, have earned a place in today's Escort,
taking centre stage today, as they prepare to face the crowds
and march smartly onto the Parade Ground.
And marching with the Escort is Number 2 Guard, found
by Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.
A very heavy presence from the Coldstream Guards today.
Number 3 Guard and Number 4 Guard are also found by Coldstream Guards.
And they're being led onto the Parade Ground by the Band
Already on the Parade Ground in position are Number 5 Guard.
Found by Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards, created in 1994
to carry the colours of the suspended 2nd Battalion,
and to maintain its customs and traditions.
Right at the far end, formed up at right angles near
the Old Admiralty Building, we have Number 6 Guard,
found today by F Company Scots Guards,
an independent Company created in 1994, representing the suspended
The Scots Guards last trooped their colour in 2011.
So each of the six numbered guards on parade is made up of three
officers and 70 men, apart from the Escort,
All of which makes a total of 19 officers and 426 men.
We mentioned the Irish Guards are represented
in the Massed Bands, and they're
The Welsh Guards, who trooped their Colour last year, are also
represented by some of the musicians in the Massed Bands,
Now one of the prime features of this parade
is precision and exemplary collaboration.
It's the kind of teamwork that becomes
possible when everyone is determined to work together.
Ask anyone who is involved and they will tell you it is one
And the regiment's photo album was updated very recently.
We decided that this year, as we have a number
of key personalities who are Coldstream Guards on this
year's Queen's Birthday Parade, that we'd set up and take
I joined the Army in 1996 and was commissioned
I joined the Coldstream Guards in 1988, so about 28 years ago.
I joined the Coldstream Guards in 1994, so I'm now in my
I joined the Coldstream Guards in 1993 and I'd always
I joined the Army in 2007 and passed up from Sandhurst in 2008,
commissioning into the Coldstream Guards.
I joined the Coldstream Guards in August last year
We're a very special Regiment with a long and deep
There is a great and very powerful feeling of family
There's a phrase we have in the division, if you cut
someone they'll bleed blue, red, blue, which are our
I've known a lot of them in battle situations as well as clearly
Many of us have served together on operations in Iraq,
Afghanistan and further back in Northern Ireland.
We're primarily front-line infantry troops.
When you're on tour, you're living in each other's pockets.
You get to know your comrades extremely well.
There's lots of humour and lots of banter that goes on,
Of course, if you get into contact and the adrenaline starts flowing,
you know you can rely on the person left and right and you know
that the person next you would probably give
What makes the Coldstream Guards special is just how
Today is sort of a family day and the idea is to get the soldiers
and their families to come so they get to see more
about what we do, they get to ask questions and it's an opportunity
They are desperate to get me to take them shooting at the wall.
This year we've kind of got the past, present and future
So, we have a number of recruits from Caterrick who are in various
We've got past members who've formed th evarious associations around
the country and also the serving members of the battalion,
so the three generations of Coldstream Guards are here today.
Just a step slightly over towards Senior John Major, please.
As the Regiment historians of the future look back on these
days, hopefully they'll have an understanding of some
of the people that served in the Regiment in our time,
so that those who are serving in the future can look back
and learn and ensure they understand what makes this Regiment proud
and some of the history that goes before them.
The photograph will be hanging in the respective officers'
and sergeants' mess and then quite possibly a copy to Her Majesty
as a birthday present from the Coldstream Guards
Here he is the man who will be Field Officer in Brigade Waiting.
Did you sleep well last night? Not too badly. Grey Fond is a late
draft? Yes, unfortunately the horse I was due to ride two weeks ago went
lame and I rode Grey Falcon for the first time and he is the super sub
and I'm sure he will deliver the goods. How much do you worry about
your riding or is it about commends and what's going on the parade
square? I try to remain calm and not transmit any nerves to the horse of
the Household Cavalry really looked after me well in the build-up to the
parade. There has been a lot of teamwork across the Household
division. If I asked you whether you're looking forward to, what's
the answer? I am looking forward to, it is nervous anticipation. It is an
honour and the boys and girls are all really looking forward to the
parade today and I hope we can deliver the goods. OK, well I hope
you put your best foot forward and Grey Falcon does his stuff!
Best of luck. We will be talking more about the
Commanding Officer later. The Colour Party is in place
and it's the Colour of the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards that's
being trooped today. The colour carries 44 of
the regiment's 113 battle honours - the oldest being Tangier in 1680,
and the most recent being The Colour was presented
by The Queen in 2012, but this is the first
occasion it's been trooped. So it's a notable honour
for the members of the Colour Party. The Sergeant of the Escort
is Sergeant Sam McAuley, it's his fith birthday parade,
and he's marched with He's flanked by the two
Sentries to the Colour. Guardsman Mark Bazeley,
the Right Sentry. And Guardsman Jack Bazeley,
the Left Sentry. Yes, they look identical in their
uniform, but they are in fact, eye Kentical twins! We think this is the
first for the Colour Party at the Birthday Parade. Their parents and
younger brother are in the stands today. Clare has been talking to
their proud mum. You had an early start this morning.
I was up at 4.30am organising everything and making sure we got
everything, tickets, all the clothes ready, dogs organised. So yeah, it
was a heckic morning. What was your reaction when the boys rang you to
tell you they were both going to be in the Colour Party? Initially
shock, very proud of them obviously. So for them to be doing this
initially in their first year is brilliant. It is fantastic. How old
were they when they decided they wanted to join the army? They were
18. They were, you know, a few dead end jobs and didn't really know what
they wanted to do and they came home from town one day and, "Mum, we've
joined the Army." That was a shock. I don't think I spoke to them for
three or four days and I was in denial, here we are today and I
couldn't be prouder. Having seen the effect it has had on them, would you
say it changed them as people? Yes, very much so. They are very
independent people now. They are proud people. Very tidy, very tidy,
when they come home, leave the ironing until they come home. Yeah,
they're very proud, very, very proud of what they're doing and
everything. They are identical twins and they will be wearing identical
uniform. You know which side they will be on, can you tell them apart?
I can, yes. I can, yes. Mark has got different features. They have got
different features. They were standing here, you would know by
their personalities, their personalities are different. There
are a few different features, very slight, but yeah, they are there.
Well, you have done them proud and wish them well today.
They were 21 this week, the twins. Greville, an important thing that
the mum said about this opportunity, the Army, having given them an
opportunity to refocus their lives? Isn't that lovely. I like the idea
of them going home and doing the ironing. They will have the mickey
taken out of them forever on that one. Isn't that fantastic. They are
delightful young men. You and I met them last week. Weren't quite sure
where they were going in life and they walked into a recruiting office
and the recruiting sergeant there encouraged them to join the
Coldstream Guards. I think because they were particularly good looking.
What about Sergeant McCauley? He is one of the youngest sergeants in the
renlg: He served in Afghanistan twice and his wife and two girls
will be enjoying this moment. Look at him there, centre stage. Well, we
wish them well because they are really getting a lot of attention at
this moment and they have part to play.
The officer commanding today's parade, the Field Officer
in Brigade Waiting, is Lieutenant Colonel James
Thurstan, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.
As he was telling us earlier, he was commissioned
into the regiment in 1997, and assumed command of the 1st
His younger brother Charlie, also a Coldstream officer, was
So, let's take a closer look at the Escort.
And the Ensign is 2nd Lieutenant James Potter
is already in position on the Parade Ground.
Greville, as the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, you helped
You saw me doing what he is doing today. One of my responsibilities
last year was the selection of young officers to join our regiment. So
James commissioned out of Sandhurst last year, completed his
professional training and is now thrust into the limelight as the
Ensign of the day. Enjoyable? Yes, I think so. I think it is excitement,
a few nerves. He will be worrying about a number of things which I
won't, I won't expose because people will pick up on them, but there are
a few areas in the parade where he is thinking he has no control over.
He will be hoping it goes well. A word about the major of the parade.
Of the Welsh Guards, we have a Welsh Guardsman Second in Command of the
Coldstream Guards, how does that work? Well, that's become more and
more normal. With the reducing size of the Army, we find that officers
swap regiments and it explains why I started life as a Grenadier and
ended up commanding the Coldstream Guards.
Well, there is a wonderful look down the Mall with the Union Flags and at
Buckingham Palace, the first carriage procession is about to
leave. We have Prince Harry and the Duchess
of Cornwall, Duchess of Cambridge. They were at the Service of
Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral yesterday. We have The Duke of York
and his daughters. And then in the third carriage, we have the early a
Earl and Countess Earl and Countess of Wessex.
At Canada Gate, facing the Palace, a very big crowd for what everyone
knows is a very special Birthday Parade to mark the Queen's official
90th birthday. The Duchess of Cambridge there.
Having celebrated her fifth wedding anniversary earlier this year and
Prince Harry, who has been very busy this year with his second Invictus
Games. They took place in Florida back in May. Took a lot of work and
a lot of preparation. It has become a success. Over 110 athletes from
the UK competed in those Invictus Games.
The Duchess of Cornwall has seen her individual profile grow
She attended the State Opening of Parliament with the Prince
The Royal Salute is sounded by Trooper Peter Chivers
of the Blues and Royals ? the Field Officer's trumpeter
Some people have brought manageable and modestly side union flags,
others have brought much larger ones to wave as the Queen passes. The
crowds this year numbering many thousands, we will have the official
number later. The crowd this year is much bigger than they usually are at
this point in the parade, indicator of the significance of the day.
The Duke of Cambridge, in his sixth year riding as Colonel
of the Irish Guards, and he is the regiment's first Royal
The Prince of Wales, riding as Colonel of the Welsh Guards ?
a role he has fulfilled for the past 41 years.
And we saw the Duke of Kent earlier, Colonel of the Scots Guards.
The Princess Royal, Colonel of The Blues and Royals ? a position
In September last year, Her Majesty overtook the remarkable
record set by Queen Victoria, as the longest-reigning
monarch in British history, and went on to celebrate 64 years
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, both great, great grandchildren of
Queen Vic Tory. Let's remember, when we think of the Queen's remarkable
record of attending this parade, Queen Victoria only managed to
attend one Birthday Parade, when she was in her 70s.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex, and their children, we saw them
yesterday in St Paul's Cathedral. Lady Louise Windsor. Lady Louise is
12 and the Viscount is eight years old. They turned the corner from The
Mall and into the approach road. It means the first carriage is almost
at the parade ground. Captain Harry Wales is also
an officer in the Household Cavalry which is why his uniform today
is that of a Blues and Royals As the first carriage is approached
the parade ground, we will see the formation has changed.
Number 3 Guard has opened up to make way for the first Royal guests,
as the band prepares to play the National Anthem.
That will signal the arrival of the first of the royal guests at Horse
Guards Parade today. The carriages approach
the Horse Guards building, where the Royal party will watch
the parade from the room once occupied by the Duke
of Wellington, and now the office of Major-General Ed
Smyth-Osbourne, Commanding You know this room, Greville, and it
has a strong link to the Coldstream. It does, back in 1650, the
Coldstream Guards were raised by Oliver Cromwell as part of his new
model Army. He then Colonel George Monck was the resident first
colonel, who marched his regiment, known as the George Monck's regiment
of foot, from Coldstream down to London, and it then became loyal to
King Charles II in 1661. General George Monck sits down at the
Major-General as he sits at Wellington's desk doing his e-mails!
The Sovereign's Escort ? one of the most impressive sights
of the day ? seven officers and 111 Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned
Officers and Troopers ? from the Household Cavalry Mounted
Leading the procession along The Mall is the Brigade Major ?
Lieutenant Colonel David Hannah of the Irish Guards.
It's his first parade in this role ? and to think that as a 9 year-old
he visited Waterloo with his father, and that's what inspired him
Vixen is the charger I have been given for the Birthday Parade,
and indeed the various parades beforehand which serve
It's my first as Brigade Major, but I have been on parade
I have the task of leading the royal procession on to the parade,
and then around the parade during the inspection phase.
Much of my work has to be done well before the parade,
in terms of the planning, preparation, coordination
and helping to stitch it all together into what I hope
will be a memorable and successful Birthday Parade.
And by the way, one of his teenage daughters
Let's see if the rules change and make that happen.
As Brigade Major comedy role is important. Let's define it. Working
closely with the garrison major, the Brigade Major is responsible for all
military ceremony in London. Between them they have prepared for this
parade, prepared initially for the Major-General, they're in media to
boss, and made sure it's ready for Her Majesty today. A big and
challenging task for David. A lot of hard work by him and his backroom
team as well, from London headquarters district. A lot of hard
work goes into putting this together.
And the uplifting sight of the Mounted Band
of the Household Cavalry, led by the Director of Music,
Major Craig Hallatt of the Life Guards, who's
composed two pieces of music for today's parade.
The 1st and 2nd divisions of the Sovereign's Escort,
provided this year by the Blues and Royals with their distinctive
The Field Officer of the Escort is Major Alex Owen.
This, his last Birthday Parade, as he's leaving the army at the end
Today he's riding George, named after the Queen's father
Then the 3rd and 4th divisions of the Sovereign's Escort
are provided by the Life Guards, with their red tunics
The tradition of using the Household Cavalry to escort
the Sovereign to the Parade was introduced by King George
The Duke of Edinburgh first rode in the Parade in 1953 in the full
Since then he has always attended in the uniform of a Colonel,
as he became Colonel of the Welsh Guards in 1954,
and later, Colonel of the Grenadier Guards in 1975.
The great processional route along the Mall is lined with the union
flags. The great processional
route along The Mall, lined with Union Flags,
but not quite as ornately decorated as it was for that first
Birthday Parade of the Queen's reign in 1953, when the coronation arches
were still in place. The Union Flag flies on all main
government buildings from 8:00am until sunset
on the day of the Parade, and for the Queen's actual
birthday on April 21st. The mounted cavalry will be making a
dramatic entrance later. Always good to see one of the high points of the
parade, such a magnificent and exciting presents.
We can hear lots of energetic shouting and cries of support and
waving in the youth enclosure. The Boys' Brigade and Girls' Brigade
represented. They contrast in terms of age with the very dignified site
of the Chelsea Pensioners, around a dozen of them today, led by the
Captain of the invalids number one company. Their combined ages, as
they stand to salute, their combined age is 785. It's great to see them.
The Household Cavalry taking up their position on the eastern fringe
of St James's Park. As the Queen arrives to enjoy this
summer tradition of the official birthday, firmly established by
Edward VII. Her Majesty's carriage turning onto the parade ground. The
head coachman, Jack Hargreaves, getting ready to salute the Colour
in his unique way, with his whip. Very experienced head coachman, Jack
Hargreaves saluting the colour. The formal start of the Queen's Birthday
Khan parade of 2016. PLAYS NATIONAL
The Queen's first task is to inspect the line of guards. It is also an
opportunity for the Massed Bands to entertain. The man in charge, Senior
Director of Music, this is his second Birthday Parade in the role.
MUSIC: The Banks of the Green Willow.
MUSIC: The Banks of the Green Willow by George Butterworth.
The music changes to Northumbrian Airs, a favourite of No
The Queen's colonel of chief. Chief of all 7 regiments of the Household
Division. Today she's wearing the brooch
of the Brigade of Guards in Uno, five joined in one featuring
the badges of the five-foot The procession passes
the Sovereign's Standard The Household Cavalry is the only
regiments allowed to present a Sovereign's Standard
on today's parade. Inscribed on the Standard
are the regiment's Battle Honours The standard bearer is Squadron
Corporal Major George Sampson. The Queen is preparing to look at
the King's Troop. The last parade for Major General Ed Smith as burn.
He's riding Jutland, named after the First World War
battle, the 100th anniversary was commemorated last week
and the General's great-uncle was killed at Jutland on HMS Invincible.
Very soon it will be turn of the Massed Bands
of the Household Division to introduce the next phase
of the parade and the musicians will be following the steps
of the Senior Drum Major, Scott Fitzgerald of
his third year in this important role.
The mace these days is used for drill movements.
I would signal a spinning wheel with the mace, mark time, halt,
Historically, it was used to clear the streets.
When the drums and flutes were going through the streets,
the drum major would clear population out the way.
Nowadays it holds all the regimental battle honours.
I really hope Her Majesty enjoys the music for the Quick Troop.
It's a special arrangement of Happy Birthday, so hopefully
she will be tapping her foot and hopefully she'll pick
up the Happy Birthday within the arrangement
Scott Fitzgerald sharing his views on today's parade.
What will he be thinking? He is a professional man. Scott was the Drum
Major in the battalion when I was Commanding Officer ten years ago and
I will never forget the day I woke up on the morning of my 40th
birthday to hear the tones of Happy Birthday being played and looked out
of the window and there was the corp of drums playing me happy birthday.
If I could point out also, the extreme left, as we look at it,
Steve State this is his 25th parade. He is another old friend, we went to
Gulf War I together and he was on my Guard of Honour when I got married.
Massed Bands by the centre. Slow March.
Sur centre Hancock will be giving a signal. Has final parade after 30
years of service. Massed Bands by the centre. Quick
march. The quick march is Royal Birthday composed by Major Alf
Young. Listen carefully for the Happy Birthday theme!
There we see the lone drummer, Jason Pitman. He is acknowledged to be the
best drummer in the division. He is carrying a Coldstream bugle used in
the First World War by Drummer Aitken whose descendants are
watching the parade today. Greville, the best drummer? Yes, this is a
lovely moment for this young soldier. Jason's father plays the
drums. Jason played the drums as a boy and he is what we call the lead
tip, the best drummer and he is the silver bugle, which is the best
bugler in the battalion. He'll never forget today.
The drummer plays eight bars of a field signal. Orderly Guardsmen Mark
Preston comes forward to take the pace stick.
The subaltern of the Escort, Captain Freddie Russell,
gives the order for the Escort to take up their dressing in close
order ? a tighter formation for the march forward
The Escort steps off with great energy and purpose to the rousing
march of the British Grenadiers, on their way to escort the Colour,
showing the results of weeks of hard work.
It's a great moment? All eyes on No 7 Company. The Sergeant Major will
come forward in a minute. This is the moment they have trained for for
the last six months, among the other duties they have. They are centre
stage, nowhere to hide, and everybody will be giving 100%,
desperate for it to go well. They know all the Coldstream Guards out
there will be checking their dressing and drill. It's a matter of
impressing all the people watching, but a lot of expert eyes watching,
and one really expert pair, Her Majesty's. The 64th time she has
watched this. She will know whether it is good or not. I'm really proud
watching this, they look fabulous. 16 paces in front of the Colour,
ready for the collection to take place, the kernel.
-- the Colonel. Escort for the Colour in open order.
Such a proud moment. A career that started in 1993, having served in
Iraq, presenting over to the Ensign, Second Lieutenant James Potter.
The transfer is made ? as the Ensign, 2nd
receives the Colour from Regimental Sergeant Major ?
and places it securely in his white Colour belt.
So we enter the central phase of this Birthday Parade
as the Escort prepares to troop the Colour through the ranks,
It's no longer the Escort for the Colour.
The Escort advances in slow time, to the tune Escort to the Colour,
which has been played at this point in the Parade since 1978,
and very soon the bands will have to negotiate
It's the military equivalent of a 3-point turn and it's
200 musicians ? supported by 40 members of the corps of drums
and pipers ? having to change direction without
And to put it mildly, it's a challenge. It's always intrigued me,
I've never understood how they have done it. I had the privilege of
watching the Massed Bands rehearse this a few weeks ago. I was told
that the instructions are not written down anywhere. I think the
mystique is part of the thrill, but they successfully achieve it every
year. The garrison Sergeant Major, the senior band major and senior
drum major art all Coldstream Guards.
The music changes to the familiar Grenadiers Slow March,
arranged by Fred Harris, as the Escort prepares
to Troop the Colour through the ranks.
We approach a deeply symbolic part of this parade where the Colour is
trooped. What's the significance? It's the spiritual heart of the
parade. All the Coldstreamers past and present watching will be feeling
the emotion. There is no question, I am! The significance is that before
the days of radio and modern communications, the only way
soldiers on a battlefield knew where they needed to be was the following
of the Colour. It was the rallying point. So many soldiers were killed
every day, the new recruits were shown the Colour every morning so
they knew exactly which their Colour was and where their rally was.
It is such a big moment for the Ensign, 2nd
Lieutenant James Potter, who's 25 and from Salisbury, joined
the Army less than two years ago, and was commissioned
He's been telling us about the honour of being chosen.
When I heard I was Ensign, I was obviously ecstatic.
Quartermaster Sergeant, he produced a heavier practice colour.
So when I'm flourishing, I can get used to the actual feel of it.
To prepare, I think lots of it is just conditioning,
so definitely some extra time in the gym, working on the shoulders
to try and make sure they are up to the task on the day.
I do love being the centre of attention, I must admit.
And going over to collect the Colour in the middle of the parade,
I know that there is a slight pause and that's the moment
everyone's just watching me when everyone else is stood still.
So it's a good moment and I'm very much looking
James Potter with his thoughts. Greville, you have been there, what
are your thoughts? To be honest, I'm welling up. I have gone fizzy all
over. I know it was 33 years ago, but I remember it so well. This will
possibly always be the biggest day of James Potter's life. I'm certain
he will be enjoying it. This is an opportunity for them to
show off their musical skills. We have the Corp of Drums led by Drum
Major Maurice Brown and we have got the Drums and Pipes, led by John
Smylie. All the guys are soldiers first. They've got a lot of medals
between them. And it is just amazing how they can be soldiers and
musicians, immaculate really. Right. March past in slow and quick
time. By the left. Slow March. So the trooping phase
is complete and the march The neutral slow march
is Old Coldstream Marches, arranged by Lieutenant
Colonel Trevor Sharpe, for the Coldstream Guards
in the 1960s and 1970s. It has been used on numerous
Birthday Parades. Such a good view of the march men. A
good moment for us to reflect. People watching from the good
vantage point of the Major General's office. Lady Louise and her father,
the Earl of Wessex. It's the perfect moment
in the Parade to appreciate the quality of teamwork
and collaboration that's vital on parade but also
on the battlefield. I have to say at this stage other
parts of the Army tend to take the mick out of the Household Division
for our ceremonial role. But it is not easy and to get everything right
relies on an extraordinary level of teamwork. We might see a bit of it
now, the Guardsmen in the middle of the ranks, keeping the officer in
line, the ranks working really hard to try and keep a straight line
which they are achieving really well. We have the Company Sergeant
Major who will tell the officer when he is ready to do a left turn and,
"Right, sir." Here he goes, yeah, teamwork, all the way throughout the
parade and clearly, directly transferable on to the field of
battle. What does it take to get to this level of performance? This
level of precision? I think it is a combination clearly of practise, but
confidence. Confidence in your own skills and ability to do it and
these guys work together on a daily basis and they know the whole Army
ethos is based on teamwork. We are no good as individuals. A big lesson
in life for me and that's what it is about. It is about the teamworking
and nailing it together. The Escort moves off,
led by the Field Officer in Brigade Waiting,
Lieutenant Colonel James Thurstan The Coldstream Guards Trooped
their Colour for Her Majesty the Queen for the first time 62
years ago in 1954 and today marks the 16th occasion they have been
granted this honour. The Ensign raises the Standard known
as the Recover after they pass the salute.
Very soon the music will change. The Grenadier Guards Slow March.
The number 5 Guard. We have the Slow March of the Scots
Guards Figaro for the F Company company Scots Guards.
The Adjutant of the Parade is Captain Olly Morley
of the Coldstream Guards, originally from Oxford,
commissioned from Sandhurst seven years ago and has served twice
in Afghanistan and is a former assistant equerry to The Queen.
The music changes to Long Live Elizabeth.
The Field Officer in Brigade Waiting,
Lieutenant Colonel James Thurstan rides out to salute
the Queen, now that the slow march is complete.
All the stands family members, including the Potter family. A proud
day with them with Second Lieutenant James Potter closen as the Ensign
and Clare has been speaking to James' family. Sally, a hugely
special day for you? It is such a special day. We are very, very
excited about the whole thing. When James rang us and said that he was
going to be doing this, I think the three of us whoop, whoop, it was
just so wonderful. Justin, I know there is a fair bit of military
history. Did you expect James to go and follow various footsteps? Oddly
enough, no. Although he is the fourth generation and we have a
large family sort of history as you say, it wasn't until the second year
at university that he expressed an interest, but he has always made up
his own mind, but once he made up his mind to do it, that's what he
wanted to do. How are you feeling today? I'm incredibly proud and I'm
very excited. As I suppose, every parent would be. Gemma, are you
nervous for your brother? I'm terrified. I was unable to sleep
last night. It didn't make it any better the fact that he said he done
it 44 times. For him, he is just marching in his sleep. For us, it is
terrifying, he seems to be at peace with it all. For the family, it is
not so much fun. I know his grandmother is watching at home? She
is, a hugely, hugely proud moment for her. She is 95. She was in the
MTC during the war and for her, it is just, just so important. So
wonderful. She is watching it with friends and she is going to have a
wonderful, wonderful day. I hope he does too and enjoy it yourselves.
Thank you very much, Clare. The importance of the support of
family and friends and today's parade is a constant reminder of
that, Greville. I can safely speak for every soldier, sailor and airmen
when I say support from our family and friends is the single most
important thing for us when we're deployed on operations. I will never
forget the time when my wife who is a serving soldier, she went to Gulf
War. That sense of being left behind is agony. At this point, I despair
at the thought for those families and friends living with the
consequences of a loved one being killed or injured and I mean it,
Huw, when I say, it is those families and friends that deserve
the medals. The guards have now re-formed
and they're now ready to march past The style changes,
the tempo quickens, there's The neutral quick march
is Great Little Army, composed by Kenneth J Alford,
considered to be one of the finest The change of tempo is led
by Lance Sergeant Neil Brocklehurst of the Scots Guards,
the Senior Time Beater. A moment to reflect on the style of
the parade so far. There might be other opinions in the
Major-General's office, but let's hear yours, it Greville. Together we
did see a couple of mistakes on parade. That's what rehearsals are
for. But so far today, I think we are witnessing a fantastic parade.
The Massed Bands, the core of drums, as ever they are absolutely on the
money, magnificent. We are about to see the Household Cavalry, the
King's Troop, and they are mind blowing Lee Smart, the amount of
preparation they have put in. The line I was talking about at the
Arms Jill has looked really sharp. Let's not forget the Colour points.
At the bottom of the screen you can see them marking out the square and
they stand there all day steady. It's a thankless but critical task.
No 2 Guard is found by 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards.
The Captain of No 2 Guard is Major Oliver Biggs,
whose father Andrew was the Ensign in 1972
Number 5 Guard is provided by Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards.
It had the honour of providing the Escort
The unmistakable quick march of the Scots Guards.
F Company is an incremental company of Scots Guards,
based in Wellington Barracks and they've been involved
in all the major ceremonial state occasions over the past year.
A word about the incremental notion, what does that mean? In the early
90s when the Berlin Wall went down there was a reduction in the size of
the army, so to ensure they could cover public or ceremonial duty,
they created three incremental companies out of the regiments that
had second battalions. They are on perfect ceremonial duty. But they
can swap the soldiers and officers around between the operational and
ceremonial patella -- battalions. MUSIC: The Bond of Friendship
composed by Rogan. The march past in
quick time is done. The Field Office in Brigade Waiting
rides out and salutes The Queen The Massed Bands play
the neutral quick march ? The Commanding Officer Lieutenant
Colonel James Thurstan has a moment to pause before the next
stage of the Parade. He's been sharing his thoughts
with us about the special honour that today represents for him
and his men. My message to the guardsmen
on the day would be to understand the great thing that they're part
of, and take the opportunity to really be proud of that
and show themselves off to, most importantly, Her Majesty, for
this her 90th birthday year. And I hope that as I move forward
to address Her Majesty and inform her that her guards
are ready to march off, she will be happy with it,
and hopefully even a smile. And we can head on back up The Mall
to Buckingham Palace so she can James Thurstan there. The big
challenge, he is not a natural horseman. That's what he said
earlier, but I can't possibly comment. I know James really well.
We served together, when I was commanding officer, he was a
principal officer of mine. We served together in Helmand Province ten
years later when he was a major commanding his soldiers in probably
one of the most dangerous parts of the world in Helmand Province,
clearly a far cry from what he's doing today. I would think you
probably finds it equally challenging. -- think he probably
finds it. Guards, in open order
left and right, dress. The pipe is always had a great sense
of excitement to the Birthday Parade.
We are greatly looking forward to the next phase of the Parade ?
with the thrilling sights of the Household Cavalry
and the King's Troop and the Mounted Band ?
The Massed Bands marching to one side. The Mounted Bands are
prepared. Both horses, Clydesdale crosses, and both carrying solid
Silver kettledrums. They wait in normal amounts, and they are big,
strong, enormous horses. They know this is their moment.
Here come the King's Troop. Having seen them get ready this morning I
really appreciate the horsemanship. The 19th year they have been on the
ceremony at Horse Guards. The first time on request of the Royal family
in 1998. Their duties include the firing of royal gun salutes on
anniversaries and state occasions. Yesterday they fired the gun is to
mark the Duke of Edinburgh's 95th birthday. The motto of the Royal
Artillery means everywhere. They marked their 300th anniversary at
Larkhill. As we mentioned earlier,
The Royal Artillery marked their 300th anniversary at Larkhill
where The King's Troop did a ride and drive past The Queen,
who is the Captain General The weight is specifically designed
to keep the weight of the loins of the horses. -- off the loins.
Major Robert Skeggs is in command of the King's Troop
He has served in Iraq and took command of the King's Troop
This will be his fifth Birthday Parade and his second
The Duke of Edinburgh was 95 yesterday. Making the salute
alongside Her Majesty. Acknowledging the lead gun.
The lead gun, prominently on display, is in effect the Colour
of the Troop, so it's accorded the same reverence
These 13 lb quick-fire guns entered service in 1904 and all six
on parade today were used in the Great War.
The Field Officer of the Sovereign's Escort
is Major Alex Owen of the Blues and Royals.
As field officer he commands the Household Cavalry troops on parade.
The Household Cavalry consists of two regiments,
The Blues and Royals and The Life Guards.
They are the two senior regiments of the British Army.
The Serrefile Captain is Major Ben Woolf of the Life
It's his job to control the speed during the rides
And at the rear, the Farriers, dressed in their dark blue tunics
They're the ones in times gone by who would despatch horses
The Field Officer's Trumpeter is Trooper Peter Chivers
His horse Otto is a grey, as in the past it helped
the trumpeters stand out on the battle field.
Peter, only 19, but recently got engaged to Chloe.
Peter's family has made the long trip from County Durham to London
The Household Cavalry break-in to trot now. That's quite difficult,
the horses have been sitting around, impatient. It's easier when they get
into it. I think Otto went off quicker than anticipated. These guns
are heavy, and the horses have to be strong. Most of all, the temperament
is important in the King's Troop. They have to be used to big bangs,
crowds, and they have to be fit, not get tired during this process. The
commanding officer, riding a real old pro, she has done the last six
Queen's Birthday Parades. In charge of the health of over 250 horses at
Hyde Park barracks. There is a high percentage of women
in the King's Troop. Many of the men and women on parade today have seen
act of service. They have served in operations in Afghanistan, and Iraq.
It almost makes the Parade Ground shudder when they come through in
trot. But very, very skilled horsemanship. Good riding. They ride
regularly. They joined because they want to work with horses and they
get that opportunity. There is a line of the masters of
the troop formed up of the Regimental Sergeant Major and the
instructor and the three masters. In trot the first and Second Divisions
of the Blues and Royals. That kit that they wear is incredibly heavy.
When you take into account everything that they're wearing, but
also carrying. Again, the horses have to be strong. There is not too
much wind today which helps. If the wind gets under their tails, it can
make them more excitable, but you just want a bit of a breeze to keep
the flies away. The last time that horses of the Household Cavalry were
used was in 1940, deployed to Palestine.
The band of the Household Cavalry saluting. They are crossing their
sticks as they pass the saluting base. Major Hallett joined 32 years
ago and composed two pieces. Among the musicians today is the
trombonist, Richard Jones, the magician who won this year's
Britain's Got Talent. So a rather different challenge for him today!
I think we've spotted Richard Jones. He is looking very solemn. Taking
his duty there in the massed band very seriously.
Musicians wearing the State Coat with its crim zopb velvet and gold
braid. The oldest ceremonial army. It unchanged since 1835.
So the band will come to a halt. The Director of Music will turn just
slightly, signalling that he is handing back control to the Field
Officer for the final Birthday Salute.
PLAYS NATIONAL ANTHEM
In close order, left and right, dress.
So the Guards Dress, this time, all the guards, in one long line
and it's remarkable to think, once again, that this precise move
is accomplished with no word of command being given.
At the halt, by divisions.
MUSIC: The Adjutant Composed by Drum Major Tom Birkett.
The guards are closing up ready for the procession along the Mall.
MUSIC: The Corps of Drums Play Prussia's Glory by Gottfried Piefke.
MUSIC: The Corps of Drums Play Prussia's Glory by Gottfried Piefke.
The Colour Sergeant Paul Martin, the Company Quartermaster Sergeant.
Making his way to the Approach Road as we approach the end of the parade
is Garrison Sergeant Major, London District, Warrant Officer
Class One, Andrew Stokes of the Coldstream Guards.
This is his first birthday parade in this very important role.
He joined the Army in 1988 and he has served around the world
in the meantime, including the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan.
I have to say he has impressed everyone with his
meticulous preparation for today's parade.
Greville some thoughts on the job he is doing? I know him well. He served
with me. I'm proud to say that I described he was the best sergeant
in the battalion. So I clearly had an eye for talent. But he made a
real impact since he arrived as garrison Sergeant Major. He is a
truly great man. Field Officer will ask Her Majesty's
permission to march off to conclude the Birthday Parade.
Your Majesty, this year on behalf of all ranks of the House Hold division
may I wish you and His Royal Highness the happiest of birthdays.
Your Royal Guards are ready to march off ma'am.
Not just asking permission to march off, but a birthday greeting on
behalf of all the ground troops for the Commanding Officer and for the
Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. So as the Commanding Officer takes
his position, first carriages are leaving Horse Guards for the return
to Buckingham Palace. The first carriage the Duchess of
Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry. The Mounted Bands
are making their way too. In the second carriage we have The Duke of
York and his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. Lots
of people have been waiting patiently along the Mall for this
because they have taken position waiting for the fly-past which will
happen in around 45, 50 minutes time. This is their first proper
glimpse of the procession as it returns from the Birthday Parade.
They could hear the music and they have seen the King's Troop and now
they get the entertainment from The Mounted Bands as well.
So some rousing and energetic music, Mauritania. This is the moment,
Greville, where the Queen will be reflecting on what the parade has
been like. The Duke of Edinburgh no doubt has his views too. The Field
Officer, as we can see, joining this procession. And to what extent do
you think the verdict is clear at this point? I think Her Majesty will
have reached a pretty sound conclusion. I mean there have been a
few challenges along the way. The more eagle eye observers would have
spotted a few challenges and Her Majesty won't have missed them, you
know, we are all human and horses aren't human! But I think she is
going to have loved it. From my prospective, I thought it looked
terrific. Well, this tradition of the monarch
leading the Guards back to Buckingham Palace was established by
George V back in 1914. The Parade had become
increasingly popular so it was decided to provide an even
more impressive experience There are thousands here for this
90th Birthday Parade. The Prime Minister, David Cameron,
taking a break from the referendum campaigning. And there on his left,
we have Roy Blackbeard the High Commissioner for the Republic of
Botswana who is attending the parade today and Baroness Scotland there on
the left who is the first ever female Secretary-General of the
Commonwealth and a former Attorney-General. The Queen and the
Duke passing the Youth Enclosure and acknowledging the cheers and all the
support from the boys and the girls brigade and the Boy Scouts and Girl
Guides. As they prepare to leave the
approach and onto The Mall for that great procession back to Buckingham
Palace, everybody looking forward to the fly past when it happens.
We're staying on air here on BBC One to see the procession back
to Buckingham Palace ? and to see the 90th birthday fly-past
by the Royal Air Force, which the Queen and members
of the Royal Family will enjoy from the balcony
And I should also mention that if you want to get a very
different view of the Parade, you can see highlights
from the Major-General's Review in 360 degrees,
To get The Queen's eye view of proceedings go
to bbc.co.uk/trooping for a 360 degree experience of this
The Queen and Duke enjoying the day. Nice weather, enjoying the fact lots
of crowds out there today. A good moment, gravel, to underline the
very solid relationship between the Queen and the troops of the
Household Division. When I mentioned earlier that the Coldstream had
performed in 1650 and 1661, when we became loyal to the crown under King
Charles II, that's how far back it goes. The clue is in the title, we
are the Household Division, Her Majesty's on troops, the Monica's on
troops. That's borne out today when we get the opportunity to parade in
front of her. -- the monarch's on troops.
We haven't mentioned Lieutenant General Sir James Buckley and, the
kernel of the regiment. Today he will be carrying his grandfather's
sword, who carried the same sort in the battle of the Somme 100 years
ago. Indeed, he was shot in the hand when carrying it. Interestingly,
General James's son Humphrey is in number four guard, and his fourth
generation with his brother, who is also in need regiment.
They play an incredibly important role in looking after the regiments,
particularly the veterans and associations who form a huge part of
the regimental family. The Regimental Adjutant is the link
between the serving and retired. As we see the procession closing in on
Buckingham Palace at a gentle pace as they take in the crowds and view,
we can see some of the Street liners like the Irish Guards. We expect
them to have a more prominent role next year. Who knows. It's quite a
thought. If they do, we wish them well. Street lining, you are not
centrestage, and it's a long day for them. But they look absolutely
fantastic, doesn't it make you proud to be British? Absolutely fantastic.
So as we look forward to the events leading to the balcony appearance ?
and the birthday fly-past ? let me welcome the journalist,
author and commentator Robert Hardman ?
who writes for the Daily Mail.
Thank you for joining us, your thoughts on the parade today. It's
wonderful as ever. I'm struck by the size of the crowds, probably the
biggest we have seen on the Mall since the diamond jubilee four years
ago. Magnificent. The Queen is the really enjoying it. Many people will
have been struck by her wonderful outfit today. The palace are calling
it the vibrant green outfit. It's wonderful. The Queen has often said
herself, I have to be seen to be believed. And today, she has.
Vibrant is the right word. A very royal word. Let's underline the
significance of the events of the weekend. We were at the thanksgiving
service yesterday. Today is the official Birthday Parade. Tomorrow
will be slightly more informal at the patron's lunch. But today's
parading context. It's the great birthday tradition, the Trooping the
Colour. This is the fixture in the calendar, the birthday Honours list,
it comes with this. All over the world, British embassies and high
commissions are marking today as a national day. We do not have a
formal national day like some nations at over the world this will
be seen as that day. This is a day that underlines the crucial link
between the monarchy and the Armed Forces. That's the major point. It
forms a delightful contrast to yesterday, which was all about... It
had the solemnity in St Paul's Cathedral. It was a strong religious
occasion. Tomorrow will be a wonderfully informal and almost
carnival like atmosphere. We will have a parade coming up this
stretch. Today is the pomp and pageantry, all be great stuff. It
does make you proud to be British. It's what people expect. If you ask
anyone from around the world to define, what is Britain? This is
exactly what they had in mind. The Duke offering a running
commentary. He is loving this as well. He is still a general, and he
takes that role extremely seriously. At this point of the day of the
Birthday Parade, there is a real sense, that although the parade is
still in everyone's mind and people are proud of their part in it, you
can feel people relaxing a little. That moment where they are
approaching the events of the palace and the fly past. There is a sense
people can relax slightly and take things easy. We never relax, always
on duty and ready for action. We can't see him at the moment, but
when I was Ensign, he's at the front of the guards now, right at the
front of the guards behind the commanding officer's horse. I
remember that moment with Her Majesty -- just in front of me, it
was a magnificent moment. They will now be guarding Buckingham Palace
and Saint James's Palace. We had down towards the Queen Victoria
monument. We can see the balcony is ready for the fly past. The Royal
Standard flying proudly above the Palace.
We can see to the top right, the Ensign right at the front, that's
the moment I remember well. We mentioned the social media
exercise earlier. Welcome comments from all of the viewers, those
enjoying today's events. I will take a couple at this point as the Queen
and Duke of Edinburgh approach the Palace. Lewis Sanderson, thanks for
getting in touch. Lewis is keeping an eagle eye out for his uncle,
serving in the Coldstream Guards on parade today. We hope you have
spotted him along the way. Fiona Thomson, thanks for telling us you
are watching at home. First attended the parade that in 1983 at the age
of seven. Greville knows all about 1983, having been Ensign at that
point. Her father was in the Blues and Royals. A nice 1983 link for
you. I rather hope it was Fiona's favourite parade. Taking nothing
from today, obviously. Paul Davies, thank you for wishing good luck to
the Air Cadets flying with the RAF in the Queen's birthday fly-past. I
don't want to spoil as a prize, but I think you find it's more extensive
than any we have seen for many years. The fly-past will be very
impressive. Appropriately for the 90th Birthday Parade. Caroline,
thank you for telling us it's a proud day for you as your father
served at one time in the Coldstream Guards. You would hope given me very
strong Coldstream presents today, providing the as -- providing the
Escort, and Trooping the Colour. We hope you have enjoyed the day. This
is where we get a good sense of what Robert was saying a short time ago.
The Queen left the palace before the parade with the crowds building up,
but Robert was right, these crowds are much bigger than you would
normally expect. It underlines what this year is all about. A birthday
such as this is always going to bring extra crowds out. The weather
has obviously helped. I think there is a real sense that this has been
an historic year. It's the year Her Majesty has become the longest
reigning monarch in history and I think a lot of people want to come
and celebrate, not just her birthday, but the fact she has been
a remarkable figure, and for many this is the first opportunity to do
that, it's a weekend, it's sunny, and they know they will see the
Royal family from the balcony. It's a combination of all sorts of
things. We already have a balcony presents, there to greet the Queen
and Duke back to the Palace. Then they will all go inside, and
re-appear just before 1pm. It will be interesting to spot who is there
at that point, including young members of the balcony party. Then
we will have the fly itself. The Queen is back home. Buckingham
Palace. One of her homes! members of the Royal Family --
onto the famous balcony -- It's a very strong turnout. This is
the one day of the year when we traditionally see a lot of members
of the Royal family who we do not always easy. A lot of the younger
members, and for them it's a very big day. They have been in a
carriage procession, that's a big moment. You have cousins here who
are not normally part of the Royal pageant. But on this one day, they
are. For them, it's nice for the Queen to have the whole family here.
It underlines the sense that this isn't just a military parade, it's a
family birthday. We have the guards, many of them Coldstream Guards,
underlining once again the close relationship the Queen has with
service men and women, and has had throughout her reign. Plenty of
people wanting to enjoy the spectacle today. The relationship
between the Queen and Armed Forces has been a feature of the rain.
As Princess Elizabeth, she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service
in 1945, and members of her own family have gone
on to experience life in the Armed Services.
We've been looking back at the bond between
Wearing the gold grenade badge of the Grenadiers in her hat,
Princess Elizabeth makes her first military inspection.
And the final poseed picture, taken at the end of the review,
may be regarded as a record of the first official
occasion in the life of England's future Queen.
His Majesty was accompanied by Princess Elizabeth
for the birthday ceremony of Trooping the Colour.
Before the age-old Tower, the guns speak.
At Spithead, the Royal Yacht Britannia steamed proudly
The Ensign for the Queen's colour is Lieutenant Philip Whitehead.
May God bless her and all who sail in her.
I know I speak for all those who have the privilege
to wear your uniform and hold your commission
when I thank you for your dedication to our service and to our country.
Three cheers for Her Majesty The Queen!
Some rousing muse UK and just some images which enforce the very, very
solid bond between the monarch and the military over 64 years of the
Queen's reign. What is happening now at Buckingham Palace is that we have
a Changing of the Guard because as Greville mentioned earlier, today's
Escort, has some more work to do and they are going to be mounting guard
at Buckingham Palace. Robert Hardman is still with me. There has been a
change of the arrangements in recent years, hasn't there, Robert, because
the Queen in past years would have taken salute at this point, again,
but she has gone in now to join the rest of the Royal Family. And that's
the point at which traditionally, they exchange a view views about the
parade and how it has gone over a little drink! Yes, that's always the
first draft of the report and I'm sure she will have been very happy
with it, but as you said earlier, she would have spotted any slight
errors and if anything didn't go according to plan. There is in the
Chinese drawing room there, there is a plate covered in sandwiches,
people will be having a drink. There will be a lot of meeting up, seeing
cousins who they may have seen yesterday, but they haven't seen for
ages, and it is a family reunion right now. A word from Greville on
the Changing of the Guard and what that entails. Number 7 Company mount
guard. They go on duty and guard Buckingham Palace and St James's
Palace and Clarence House and this happens every day. They don't
necessarily change guard every day, some guards will do 24, 48 hours and
extend the period that they are on guard, but this is happening in
Windsor Castle and the Tower of London and at Buckingham Palace. As
we know, Christopher Robin went to see them changing guard at
Buckingham Palace and that's what is going on. The soldiers who have been
on guard will now be relieved by Number 7 Company.
So the Changing of the Guard is happening. We are waiting for the
Queen and members of the Royal Family to re-emerge.
Let's join Clare Balding who's with Captain James Harbord
Yes, James is not on parade this year, but he was last year, you were
a Field Officer of the escort. So you know what the men are thinking
and feeling? At the moment, aside from the feeling of pride, there is
a growing sensation of relief from a parade well done as they look
forward to getting back into camp and checking the horses over for any
injuries they might have picked up. Generally, speaking the horses seem
to enjoy it. They are very good at it? Many of the horses are
well-versed than some of the soldiers. A lot of soldiers today
would have been riding for the first time, having endured 16 weeks of the
riding training so the horses are old hands. And you will be involved
next year? Yes, I take over in August as the Life Guards squadron
leader and the role will entitle me to the Field Officer command of the
escort next year. If somebody said what is it like being part of the
Household Cavalry, what would you say? It is extraordinary and like no
other job. Enormous sense of pride at the ceremonial side, hard work,
it is early starts back in Windsor as well. Our soldiers rotates
through both sites, it is varied. You seem to have a special
relationship with Her Majesty the Queen? That's right, as soldiers in
London, we have our commitment at Horse Guards and we are involved in
escorting Her Majesty. Your day is not finished? No, I'm going on
parade at 4pm this afternoon. Thank you very much for talking to us and
giving us an insight as to what the Household Cavalry will be feeling
right now. They can let themselves relax. Job well done.
The Coldstream Guards served in every major conflict since 1650. A
few months ago, we grouped of today's Coldstreamers as they
visited France to visit the site where their processors showed
exceptional courage during the Battle of the Somme which started
100 years ago. Welcome to the Somme, where we will
start our study for the day. We're up on Bazentin
Ridge now, so I'm going to set the context and go back
to the 1st July and cover some of And then we'll look at two guards'
actions there, particularly the VC action of Colonel Campbell,
the CO of 3rd Battalion the It's important that the
soldiers of today learn about what happened,
so they can understand the stories behind
the battle honours that Specifically, for the regiment
in the First World War. There were 36 battle honours,
seven Victoria Crosses and one Being at the Somme means a great
deal to me because my great great uncle Jack, a chap called
Gerald Siordet, fought very close to where we are now and won a
Military Cross. Before the war, he was
at Oxford University and was a poet, and an
artist. So throughout his time in
the trenches, he sketched a lot of the scenes, many of which have been
passed down in the family. There's a great story,
one of his soldiers wrote that he was the coolest
officer in France. He described a situation
where the trench that he and my great great uncle were in was
being bombarded, and my uncle Jack was apparently standing
up, cool as you like, sketching his soldiers crouching
down because he thought So, you know, a pretty
cool customer. On the day he led his
platoon over the top, So he took command of the company,
continued with the attack, made it all the way to the enemy positions,
consolidated there and then So he successfully
and safely led his company back to their lines,
in the process getting injured. And he was awarded his
Military Cross for that What's fascinating with a lot
of these acts of bravery in the First World War, that it was just
ordinary people doing extraordinary He did it because it was his duty
and he thought that that was And I think that is
just something that is absolutely awe-inspiring to us,
you know, 100 years later. On 3rd June 1913,
the then Captain John Campbell DSO, a keen
huntsman, was presented a silver hunting horn by the men
of Number One Company, Unbeknown to anyone at the time,
the significance of that presentation would have
in the future battle. Morning of 15th September 1916,
where the first Guards They came under withering machine
gun fire down on the sunken road. Pinned down by that machine gun
fire, Colonel Campbell took his hunting horn, sounded
the warning to rally the men. A wounded guardsman a few days later
appeared in the press. "I was sheltering in a shell hole
and wondering where my mates were, and whether they had
gone any further or gone back when I heard
the Colonel's horn. It made me jump for joy,
and I never thought of sheltering Colonel Campbell's citation
that led to him being awarded the Victoria Cross
by His Majesty King The most conspicuous bravery,
and able leading in an attack, his personal gallantry
and initiative in a critical moment turned the fortunes
of the day, and enabled the division to press on and capture
objectives of the highest As infantry soldiers,
we are always looking for that bit of cover
that we can use to get Hearing the whistle,
and going over the top and walking towards the enemy is
unimaginable to us today. Well, look at that. That's quite a
sight, isn't it? The Mall is packed with people. Thronging around that
Queen Victoria Memorial and down to the Palace itself because they are
all looking forward to the balcony appearance which will take place in
a short while and of course, everyone then wanting to enjoy the
fly-past as it happens. So to wait for that and to maybe just underline
a couple of other extraordinary achievements along the way, I'm
delighted to say that I've got a special guest who is Paul Baines and
Greville is with me. You have a book, a very impressive book,
Greville is holding the book there. This is the link and I want you to
explain who Paul is in the context of the book. This is Warrant Officer
Paul Baines, you are not warn officer anymore. He left the Army a
few months ago and I will let Paul explain what he is up to. I believe
you are highly skilled, highly trained plumber is that right? , Not
quite, I'm doing an apprenticeship in plumbing in my hometown. Tell us
what your work on the book has been? It started as a recruitment tool,
that's all it was and to give us exposure, after I approached
Greville about the story, it grew into something quite book. If you
just pass the book over, I will pass it to viewers at home. It is
Coldstream Guards, ten years in Afghanistan. So basically, in lots
of images and stories, some of them pretty forceful in the way they're
told, you've related a decade of service in Afghanistan. What give
you the idea for the book? As I said, it was just, it was for
recruiting because a lot of my friends had not been recognised for
the actions they have done. I was lucky enough to be awarded a
Military Cross, but there were so many stories untold. Greville, you
had work to do in terms of allowing the book to proceed and your
thoughts about the notion of the book, why it might be attractive to
people, what were your thoughts at that point? Unusually, Paul has been
very modest. This was a brilliant concept that he and what he has been
here, he produced a coffee table book, but it is also represented by
42 stories, written by the people who served in Afghanistan. So the
cold streamers who served and Guardsmen through to Lieutenant
General Sir James Bucknall and Paul, it was Paul's idea, I think, he will
try and credit other people. He ambushed me. I was working newspaper
York at the time and asked me to meet him and we met in Costa Coffee
in Wetherby Services, do you remember? He presented me with lots
of pictures of me looking wary. He knew which boxes to tick. Happily
lots of those photos were included! So viewers can understand, what's
the most powerful story in the book? There is just so many. I only put in
two, my old Commanding Officer put in three. Two of my friends, two
each. There is just so many. I can't choose one. And the response so far
has been... It has been great. It has been great. The publicity we
have been getting. It has been great and it is still available for sale.
All funds are for regimental charity. Are you instrumental are
these books in recruiting? Very effective. It brings the battlefield
into people's homes and you'll see when you flick through it. We would
like to present you with this Huw. Thank you very much. You will see
the pictures and you will see the stories and they're real and they
are told in soldiers' language. Paul, thank you for joining us.
Greville, stay with us. The crowds are gathering on the Mall. As Robert
Hardman was telling us a short while ago, these are remarkable crowds and
we expected for the 90th birthday, the official birthday in June, on a
lovely, sunny day really. The sun is trying to come out. It is a warm
day. That there would be great crowds, but this underlines for you
what the extent of the activity is and what people's expectations are.
It is a good moment to hand to Clare to catch up with her.
The crowds this year are absolutely massive. I grabbed a super fan,
Linda from Manchester. What you are wearing, I know you are a patriot
enthusiast of the Royal family. It's wonderful to be here today. I've
never been to the Trooping of the Colour before. The atmosphere and
crowds are amazing. Why did you come this year? It's because it's the
Queen's 90th year, and I wanted to pay my respects and join in with
everyone else. I have met the Queen before in Salford at Media City it
was the Diamond Jubilee. I presented her with flowers. Did you say to
yourself then that you would make sure you were there for Trooping the
Colour? I said we would try to make it one year, and this year was
special so we decided to come down. I've enjoyed it, it's been
absolutely wonderful. Thank you for speaking to us. You are in a perfect
position to see the balcony as well. Enjoy that.
A sense of the enjoyment today. Let's have a look at Green Park.
That's one of the important elements of the official birthday. The King's
Troop ready to fire their salute in one of the royal Parks. It's one of
the traditions of the Queen's official birthday. We can stay with
these images for a moment. Always dramatic and enjoyed by people.
My next guest has come straight from Horse Guards
Here to tell us how he's taken inspiration from his grandmother's
dedication and commitment to her charities and patronages
for an exciting event tomorrow, is the Queen's eldest grandson
Welcome and thank you very much. Lots of tradition today and we are
enjoying these images now. The King's Troop preparing to fire their
salute. Tell us about the idea you had for the patrons' lunch tomorrow
and how it formed. The Queen has had many celebrations in her honour over
the years, but there has never really been an appreciation or
recognition of the number of organisations that she has
personally attached herself to through patron edge. We did some
research around it, and there are around 600 of them. They have never
been brought together and recognised as one entity, all joined together
under one patron. I really felt it was something that needed to be
rectified. You see the Queen out and about, and the majority of the time
she is representing a lot of these organisations that she is patron to.
It was an area of her service to not only this country, but the
Commonwealth, that I felt hadn't been truly celebrated. We came up
with the idea of doing a street party, then we were looking for a
venue. In research we found out the mall had never hosted a street
party, which fall the most famous streets in the world was unusual.
The pieces fell together, we looked for a time, and this weekend was
deemed the perfect time to do it. What about getting approval from the
main person? Fortunately we ran the idea passed a number of her staff
beforehand. And it wasn't until I saw her shortly after that that she
said, I hear you are up to something. I had to confess about
what we were looking to do. She thought it was a fantastic idea, to
be able to bring all these organisations together in one go.
Unlike a Royal warrant, where if you are a warrant holder, Nou Camp at
the coat of arms on your product, if you are a charity organisation of
which she is a patron, you don't have that recognition, that stamp.
-- you can put the coat of arms. It's good to give something back to
all those organisations who give them a platform to associate with
her. There we have the mall today, it will look rather different
tomorrow. You would have difficulty serving that many people. Give us a
sense of what tomorrow will look like. On that very street there will
be 10,000 people seated having a picnic. The tables will line both
sides of the street. Obviously the idea is that today is the pomp and
ceremony of the celebrations, and tomorrow is exactly as it's meant to
be, a street party, more relaxed and informal, a celebration part of the
weekend, a nice way to draw a line under the birthday celebrations this
year. There will be lots of colour and noise and movement. Hopefully it
will be a fantastic day. Normally, something like this on that scale,
it's a huge management job to put it all together. Management jobs
sometimes present challenges. What has been the main challenge with
this? If I'm honest, today. The trooping, we always knew we would
follow the trooping, but the logistical exercise of getting
everything we knew we needed in after the trooping has finished
today, has been a real challenge. But we have a fantastic team. We
have to get more than 160 vehicles in overnight to put out all the
tables and ensure everything is ready for when the doors open
tomorrow morning. That has been the largest challenge, the changeover
between today and tomorrow. But we have a fantastic team on this.
Everyone is ready to go. Good to talk to you, and thank you for
coming in, Peter Phillips. What a challenge to pull all that together
tomorrow. Good luck to them for that. Clare Balding is with one of
the volunteers of the Royal British Legion.
A volunteer for the Royal British Legion, one of the longest
associations with the Queen as patron. When did she become patron?
She became patron in 1952 after taking over patronage from her
father, King George V. -- King George VI. When did you get
involved? That was in 2007. That was Armed Forces Day. I saw a liaison
officer. I didn't know about anything be British Legion did. He
persuaded me to join as a volunteer. How have you found it, what have you
learned from it? It has been inspirational. It was a noble thing
to do. I'm in the military, I can serve my own people and I can't ask
for anything better than that. You will be at the patrons' lunch
tomorrow. What can we expect? There will be more than 65 members from
the Royal British Legion, and members from the Armed Forces and
over 100 other volunteers. It will be a learning experience, we will
learn from each other and use it as a learning curve. You can mix and
meet and chat with other charities and organisation of which the Queen
is patron. Yes, over 600 charities that the Queen is a patron of. It
would be nice to know what they do, so I can learn from them as well. I
will be looking out for you tomorrow. It will be an amazing day.
We are all looking rather nervously at the weather forecast, it is
getting better. Hopefully the rain doesn't come in the hours we need it
not to come. We can see the scenes in Green Park.
The impressive salute being fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse
Artillery as they do every year for the Queen's Birthday Parade. This
year, special interest given a 90th birthday, and there are very big
crowds in Green Park and St James's Park here, and as we look around on
the mall itself. Robert Hardman of the Daily Mail and Greville with me.
We should say at this point, when I introduced Robert earlier, I think
he promoted you too general. He called me general twice. I'm
extremely comfortable with that because I should have been a
general! To be fair, the American army and many armies call their
Brigadiers general. I'm very comfortable with that. There are
lots of other elements of the weekend. One of those elements is on
the River Thames. Why don't we have a look at the events on the River
Thames to underline what's going on on this birthday weekend? We have a
special flotilla arranged for the Queen's 90th birthday. We saw one of
the boats in the diamond jubilee celebrations of 2012. The Royal ship
Jubilant, and also a fire boat, taking part. The flotilla on the
Thames, nice to see that, and also nice to see this enormous crowd on
The Mall. A good moment for me to ask Robert about today's event in
the context of this year's Royal diary. It's a very busy diary.
Clearly this is a massive milestone, the 90th birthday. When we think
ahead over the coming weeks and months, we have other big events
coming up, not least the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. That
will involve all members of the Royal family in different places.
The Queen will keep vigil in London. Prince Charles, Princes Harry and
William, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, they will be out on the
battlefield. That will be a royal family team event, if you like. For
a lot of people, they will be thinking the Queen might put her
feet up on her birthday, but absolutely not. She has a full set
of engagements coming up. She's off to Scotland very shortly to go to
Holyrood and open up the Scottish parliament. She has a trip to
Liverpool coming up. It will be a tour of Scotland, I think it will be
held longest number of engagements for many years. A full summer
programme. And starting next Monday with the Garter service at Windsor.
The centenary of the First World War which we marked a couple of years
ago. Very important events for many of the regiments, including the
Coldstream Guards. It is, the history is so important to us. It's
important we remember what's gone before and where we have come from.
I refer back to the 17th century from time to time. That's what makes
us what we are, it's that tradition. Trooping the Colour today, with the
Colour, that's the piece that has been the continuity through the
ages, the soul of the regiment. Therefore, looking back at history
and understanding it is crucial. The Queen leading the Royal family out
onto the balcony for this wonderful scene. And I think we will see a
first public appearance from Princess Charlotte, waiting in the
wings. The Queen acknowledging the applause of this enormous crowd. The
Duchess of Cambridge being Princess Charlotte forward. The Queen and
Duke smiling, greeting the crowds. A first appearance on the balcony for
Princess Charlotte with the Duchess of Cambridge. Prince George also on
the balcony with his father, the Duke of Cambridge. He's standing and
waving, I think he's picked it up. Princess Charlotte, just 13 months
old, I don't think she's quite mastered the Royal wave yet, but
she's looking fascinated by this extraordinary scene. Everybody
waiting patiently, Prince Harry included, and the Earl and Countess
of Wessex. The Duchess of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales. Everybody
waiting patiently for the fly past. I can tell you that there are at
least eight elements to the fly past. Those of recent years have
been much more modest. This time I can tell you it will be a much
bigger fly past. We can already feel the presence of some helicopters
heading towards St James's Park. The first element on its way. Four
helicopters, led by the Chinook, a Griffin, a puma and an Augusta 109
SP. The great Chinook, continuously deployed in operations around the
world for more than 30 years. And that's just the start. Princess
Charlotte having a look to the sky to see what all the noise is about.
We await the second element. Lots of affection and support. There will be
a big round of applause and delight when I'm sure people see the
Spitfire and Hurricane. The iconic Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
The Spitfire and Hurricane. Smiles there from the Queen and the Duke of
Edinburgh followed by the third element, rapidly closing in, the
C-130 Hercules and two pilot trainers.
Thundering through the sky above Buckingham Palace.
The fourth element and that is a mighty presence, isn't it, the
Hercules, it is the 50th anniversary of the Hercules being operated by
the RAF and the Atlas. The four-profellor Atlas coming in
for a replacement for one of the older Hercules C-130 models. And the
fifth element. We have a C-17. And a BAe 146.
C-17 providing reemployment support from Afghanistan while in March last
year delivering shelter after a cyclone.
Stand-by for the sixth element of this fly-past. Two tornadoes.
Two tornadoes accompanying the Air scoop seeker. We have the great big
Voyager, it is 200-feet long. And that really is a very big
presence in the skies above St St James' Park and Buckingham Palace.
The Voyager is the largest aircraft in the RAF's fleet. Here we go, the
Red Arrows on the way. Red, white and blue. The Royal Air Force aero
aerobatic team. My word, that was quite a sight and
lots of applause in the parks and in among the crowd. I think it is safe
to say that the Queen and other members of the Royal Family
thoroughly enjoyed one of the biggest fly-pasts we have seen for a
number of years on the Queen's Birthday Parade. Three cheers from
the crowd. APPLAUSE
The Queen just taking in the scernings taking in the sight.
-- scene, taking in the sight. PLAYS NATIONAL
ANTHEM A special rendition of the National
Anthem to celebrate the Queen's 90th birth day. As Her Majesty happily
acknowledges the cheers of the vast crowds here outside Buckingham
Palace and right up along the Mall towards Admiralty Arch. A first
public appearance on that balcony for Princess Charlotte with her
brother, George, who is a veteran by now because it is his second
appearance. No doubt they have enjoyed it all. So the Queen and
three generations of the Royal Family make their way back into the
Palace and the Birthday Parade 2016 in the Queen's 90th year is at an
end. Another superb display by everyone. An equally impressive
performance by the Royal Air Force with a fly-past to enjoy the day's
vents. Don't forget you can
enjoy it all again. Our highlights programme is
on BBC Two this evening at 6.10pm. But for now, from my special guests,
Brigadier Greville Bibby and Robert Hardman,
and every one on the BBC team at the Queen's Birthday
Parade, goodbye. Captain, it's d'Artagnan.
There's a riot in Saint-Antoine.
Huw Edwards introduces live coverage of this world-renowned military parade to mark the official ninetieth birthday of HM the Queen, from the glorious surroundings of St James's Park in London. This year the Colour of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards are trooped on Horse Guards Parade in front of thousands of spectators. After the parade, celebrations for the Queen's birthday continue at Buckingham Palace with the famous balcony appearance and flypast.